Skip to main content

Full text of "The Beat Within 13.39"

See other formats



, /// ' ////#/ 77/, // 

Hey BCclt rectderS, this week we, as in 
this editorial note writer, are coming to you from the 
cozy confines of the very cool Tryst Cafe in Washington 
DC. Yes, we are several thousand miles away from the 
home office, but given modern technology can be just 
as effective in touching you readers of this latest issue 
you now hold in your hands. 

Before this editor digs deeper into this ed note, I 
must plug the Tryst for the best big cup of coffee in 
town, which was needed given the time difference and 
our early start on the east coast. 

Given all of you contributors have an investment in 
The Beat Within, we want you readers to know that this 
is an exciting trip for our program, - your program, yes 
your program - we are not only conducting numerous 
workshops in the Oak Hill facility, out here in the DC 
area, where the leadership has been quite welcoming 
and supportive, and where we are becoming a real 
fixture for the young men in custody, to the surprise 
of the frontline staff, but we are also doing the 
fundraising hustle to hopefully secure this important 
work financially out here in the nations capital. 

Though the times are challenging and may even get 
more discouraging, given the state of the economy, yet 
that hardly means we stay put/content, it is a must to 
continue to make the cold calls and reach out to possible 
donors/foundations. We have to press the flesh, meet 
and greet and do our part to get on the radar in every 
community there is a Beat workshop happening. This is 
not the time, to think some kind soul is going to pick up 
the phone and call us and tell us that they are going to 
give us X amount of money. We have to be pro-active. 
We have to make this as much of our job as it is to put 
out the weekly publication, do the weekly workshops, 
typing and editing and everything that comes with the 
heart and soul of The Beat Within. Sharing this work 
with foundations is equally important. Sharing and 
updating our partners is crucial, even the institutions 
who open the doors for us each week. The directors and 
supervisors need to know what's cookin' in our world. 
The more the merrier!! 

Well, this editor has about fifteen minutes left 
before I have to send this cryptic spew of writing to 
The Beat headquarters. In one hour we are doing a 
presentation at the DC Jail, adult jail, as quests of the 
Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop. WE will 
be meeting the young men under 1 8 years of age who 
are being charged as adults for the alleged crimes they 
are in custody for. We are not sure what to expect, but 
think this will be eye opening for not only us, but for 
the young men living within the walls of DC Jail. 

Here's this issue's topics that were discussed prior 
to the writing that is featured in this latest issue, the 
first topic is the very popular, as you will see... "Never 
again"- Is there something that you have done only once 
that you will never, never do again? For some people, 
all it takes is one puff of a cigarette to keep that person 
from ever smoking another cigarette. Some people get 
drunk once and decide that they don't like the feeling, 
so that becomes the last time they ever get drunk. For 
some, one funeral is enough for a lifetime; one trip to 
the hall is enough to keep them from ever coming back; 
one beating from a partner is one beating too many. 
What about you? What have you done just once in your 
life, and will never do again? Give us all the details. 

Second topic, "One important change" - We'd like 

you to look at these categories: family, gangs, 
neighborhood, school, law enforcement, the court 
system, the media, or popular culture (music, fashion, 
movies, etc.), and then tell us ONE thing you would 
like to change about just ONE of those categories (not 
all of them). In other words, if you want to write about 
law enforcement, tell us the one thing that you would 
change, and why you would make that change. If it's 
your neighborhood or gang you want to write about, 
think about the most important thing you'd like to 
change, and describe the change you want to make, 
and what you hope that change will bring about. 

Last but not least, 'The equality of women" - One 
of the two major political parties (Republicans) has a 
woman running for vice-president {Sarah Palin). This 
has ignited a national debate about the role of women 
in society. Some have said that as a mother of five, she 
should be taking care of her children and not running 
for office. But nobody says that about male politicians 
with children. Why is that? Some people think that only 
men can do certain jobs and only women can do others. 
What do you think about that? How do you feel about 
a woman president, or a woman piloting your jet across 
country, or a woman in military combat? Where do your 
ideas about women come from? Should women and men 
be treated differently, and if so, in what ways? 

We also want to say, over the next couple months the 
publication is going to have to begin playing around on 
how to equally publish writings from all counties and 
not go over the century mark in pages. This will be a 
tricky task, so hang in there with us as we possibly try 
new things that may not be to your liking. Remember, 
2008 will be remember as the year Fresno County, 
Solano County, Monterey County and Washington DC 
came into the fold. 

Another thing we would like you to know is that we 
are seriously considering a quarterly BWO (Beat Without) 
publication. A sole publication devoted to our BWO 
writers. This is something we did years ago, and given 
the state of the program and the overwhelming number 
of pieces we receive each week, a back log of close to 
400 entries from solely this year, we think it is only fair 
to create a special BWO magazine! This possible new 
quarterly magazine would not take away from the BWO 
section in The Beat Within weekly, we will continue to 
showcase the backbone of the publication each week, 
and feature our favorite poets, artists, and columnist, 
but add to our workload and give you important 
supporters/readers even more to read or should we say 
consider and evaluate given you will have more to read 
from us and our many, many writers/contributors. 

We know 2009 is going to be equally promising, 
as 2008 has been/is, let alone challenging, but we are 
confident our program, our love for this work is far from 
diminishing! The Beat remains as exciting as it was back 
in the early days - late 1990s. Remember, we editors, 
facilitators are in the business to touch lives and help 
not only ourselves, but all who have an investment 
in the good work - you writers who participate in our 
weekly workshops, to those who reach out to us through 
the mail from institutions throughout this great land, 
and all our young colleagues who take the plunge and 
come to our office in San Francisco after their release 
from various local institutions. Impressive! 

All right, work is calling, can't be late for the 
jailhouse! This one goes out to your readersl Have a 
good week! See you soon. 

' // ' //////// 

The Beat Within, a weekly newsletter of writing and art by 
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappropriate 
sexual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enough tension in 
our commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's interest to 
promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants 
in our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you 
read do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights 
are reserved. Nothing from this publication can be reproduced without our writ- 

To our writers: What > 
consequences, and coul 
feelings and viewpoints 
those who might use yoi 

Co-founders: Sandy CI 

Senior Editors: David ] 

•ite could be hazardous to you. Y 
used to incriminate you. Try to 
>ut running the risk of providing 
-ds against vou. 

Assistant Editors: Micl 

Kroll, Omar r 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia 
Johnson, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Jennifer Clarke, Brit- 
tany Bernard, Alex Moe, Hanif Bey, Brenda Navarro, Samantha Navarro, Vic- 
tor Peterson, Laura Vitaro, Justine Palefsky, Karla Serrano, Alissa Blackman, 
Angel Ryono, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva Mortenson, 
Kolby Hanson, Sam Peterson, Kim Nelson, Alfredo Garcia, Mai Devavana, 
Lauren Stroud, Oscar Pena Jr., Julia Scheinbeim, Ava Benezra and Neela Ba- 

The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department 
Beat Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C., 
Lisa Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Carissa Allen, Antoinette 
Flores, Mr. B., Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Connie Pyburn, Ph. D. Clini- 
cal Director, Ph.D. Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Steve Serna 

Spiritual Advisor: Jac 
Special Volunteer: Na 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous sup- 
port of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs 
- California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, 
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation 
of California, Compton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foun- 
dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foun- 
dation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris 
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children 
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsula Community Foundation, Phil- 
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Arts 
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement 
and Jessie V Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben 
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan- 
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding 
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors. 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis- 
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio 
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have 
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to 
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415) 
503-4170 or check us out at: 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // 



P/em 0/ Ms MM 

fa-P/ms ffl 'Ms MM /£ 



St/w // 

A/meM // 

^//^//////z // 

S3ffft£/M // 

Swtt £/•#/. ^ 

Mm M 

r — _____ — — — — — ___. 

Writing Workshop (free) 
at The Beat Within Offices 

275 Ninth St. (at Folsom) 

San Francisco, CA 94103 

facilitated by Beat facilitator Kim Nelson 

Keep Writing. 

Check out the ongoing writing workshop at 
the office of The Beat Within. Participants will 
read, write. We'll also look into publishing and 
performance opportunities. 

THURSDAYS 4-6 pm starting Sept. 25 

Kim does The Beat in Alameda and Solano 
Counties, and taught writing at San Francisco's 
Log Cabin Ranch for ten years. 


T7EW EnT0¥ l 


Project WHAT! 

The following piece by Joy A. is the first i 

Trig piece by Joy A. is the first in a series from Bay Area youth 
sharing what its like to have a parent in prison or jail. These young authors, 
all of whom participate in a program called Project WHAT! — We're Here 
and Talking — will be featured in upcoming issues of The Beat Within. 
What ties together these authors' stories is that each of them has had 
at least one parent incarcerated, a bitter reality over which they had no 
control. Not all of the youth focus directly on their parent's incarceration, 
but that experience touches all of their struggles, successes, dreams, 
and goals. Project WHAT! is a program of Community Works, a nonprofit 
organization based in Berkeley, California. For more information, call us at 
(510) 486-2340 or go online to: 
projectwhat.html. If you're a young person who has a parent incarcerated 
and want a copy of our resource guide, we'll mail you a free copy. Joys 
story, 'The Life I Live," which moves from despair to hope, inaugurates a 
new page in The Beats history, and we hope you are inspired by it and the 
stories that follow in the weeks to come.. 

The Life I Live 

The first time my mom went to prison I was about four 
years old. I was alone in the front room when the police 
came through the front door. The police asked my mom 
to open her bedroom door. When she did they cuffed her 
and walked her to the police car. I stood there, confused. 
Everything was moving so fast. One of the policemen took 
me and my sister to another police car. I sat in the police 
car, staring at my mom through the windows. I saw the full 
moon and the stars. I tried to open the door of the police 
car. I didn't realize it had no inside handle. I kept asking 
the police where I was going and why my mom was in the 
other car. I couldn't understand why she would leave us 
in the car, alone. I didn't understand that I was going to a 
different place than my mom. 

I was moved to many foster homes. Each time I left a 
home I felt less important. The last foster home I stayed in 
for a while. I was so happy that I wasn't moving. Eventually, 
I went back home. I went back home to a mother, unworthy 
of her name. She pretended everything was fine. But 
eventually she went back to her old ways. She started 
drinking again. She started her violent beatings. When she 
started weed again I was happy. I was happy because she 
wouldn't beat me as much, and she would cook food when 
she was high. 

Through it all, my grandpa was the one person who 
kept us safe. He was my mom's shelter and the only thing 
that kept the family together. But on August 10, 2000, my 
grandpa died of a heart attack. When he died my world died 
with him. My mom got into huge debts with drug dealers 
and became a prostitute. I was hurt inside and didn't know 
how to express it. My behavior changed in school. I got into 
many fights. I was in the office almost every day. My mom's 
ways started to rub off on me. 

The day I was supposed to start middle school, my 
mom decided to run away. She took me and my sister, 
but left everything behind. I soon found out that my mom 
had started using crack. This broke my heart. She had 
promised me that she would never do that, but she broke 
her promise and I realized I was all alone in this world. I 
felt lonely and scared. I needed someone to guide me. My 
grandpa was gone and now so was my mom. 

In October 2002, I was taken away by the police for the 
last time. I was awakened in the middle of the night by the 
sound of my mom screaming. I got up from my bed in the 
motor home to see that we were parked outside my mom's 
boyfriend's house. When my mom saw me, she told me to 
go ring the doorbell. I told her no. She hit me on the back 
really hard. I could feel the heat from her balled-up fist 
spread across my back. I knew that I better go and ring 

that doorbell. Her friend answered the door, looking 
pissed. But his face softened as he saw my face, tight 
and ready to cry. He asked what was wrong, and when 
I showed him my back, he called the police. The police 
came and took my mom away. She had two policemen on 
each arm, carrying her kicking and screaming all the way 
down the stairs. Child Protective Services finally came and 
told me and my sister to grab some things. I didn't know 
I wasn't coming back or I would have grabbed more. That 
was the last time I saw my mom. 

I went to the first foster home and it was okay. I had a 
bed to sleep on and had some meals but I didn't get to see 
or speak with my mom. I would wait for her to call but she 
never did. I was there for three months. Then they accused 
me of stealing money and gave me a seven-day notice. I 
went to another foster home. This home was better, but 
I still didn't get to talk to my mom. I was angry that she 
wouldn't call me. Eventually, my guilt for sending my mom 
away caught up with me, and I began to do some things 
to hurt myself to release my pain. At a new school I made 
friends with the wrong people. My bad behavior sent me to 
my next home. 

I never got the phone call I was waiting for. When I had 
been in foster care before, my mom would call me almost 
every day. Now I had given up any hope that I had. Now 
the social workers started to talk about adoption. I didn't 
want to be adopted. What if my mom came back for me? I 
felt the social workers knew I wasn't ever going back home, 
but they didn't tell me that. They let me sit there frustrated 
that they knew more about my life than I did. 

I had decided I wasn't going to be like my mom, I was 
going to try to do something with my life. I had been at 
my current placement for two years and had some stability. 
But when the social workers started talking about adoption, 
I was mad. Why did they want to ruin everything? I went 
back to my bad behaviors and got another seven-day notice. 
I was mad at myself, and mad because I had started to trust 
somebody and they turned on me. I ran away the day I was 
supposed to leave and left everything there. I realized I was 
still like my mom. I was running away when things got 
hard, just like she did. 

The next home I went to was the Sneddons. The social 
workers wanted to place me there to be adopted. They 
didn't even know me but they said they wanted to adopt 
me. I thought that when they got to know me I was going 
to get another seven-day notice and get sent away. But no, 
they wanted me and my sister. I moved to this home and 
that's where I am now. I love them and they love me back. 
They didn't give me a seven-day notice and they never will. 
In January 2007, my birth mom was killed. This hurt 
me and left me with emptiness. But my emptiness was filled 
when I realized that now I had Holly, a mom who was always 
there for me. I don't think my birth mom understood the 
amount of stress she put me through. I wanted to help her 
because I loved her, but now I know I couldn't have helped 
her no matter how much I wanted to. I still miss my birth 
mom but she didn't earn that name. A mother is someone 
who takes care of her child. A mother is someone I can talk 
to and get advice from. Now I finally have that mom. 

I plan to be adopted now and I can dream big. I plan to 
go to college and become a social worker. I understand, 
now, why my social workers moved me and that everything 
they did was to help me. I can live life now with no worries 
about where I will live after emancipation. My story isn't 
finished, because it has just begun. 

Cuando Yo Mero Me Hice Un Joven 

Hola, les quiero hablar de cuando yo era un nifio. Recuerdo 
que mi padre era un alcoholico. Recuerdo que constantemente 
peleaba con mi madre. Recuerdo que un dia el tomo una nabaja 
y queria herir a mi madre, pero de suerte mi madre tenia un 
machete y lo amenazo. Le dijo que si no soltaba el cuchillo, le 
iba a atacar. El hermano de mi papa, lo agarro por la espalda y le 
quito el cichicho y luego se tranquilizo. 

Recuerdo que un dia mi madre recibio una llamada telefonica 
diciendo que mi papa estaba internado en el hospital porque 
intento suicidarse. Intento ponerse un lazo en el cuello, y por 
suerte el lazo estaba podrido. Yo tenia 4 o 5 afios de edad. Estas 
cosas quedan grabadas para siempre porque nuestra familia es 
nuestra sangre. 

Un afio despues, nos dimos cuenta que engafiaba a mi madre 
con otra senora y mi mama lo dejo. Despues recibimos una 
amarga noticia que mi papa tomo un carro prestado y andaba 
manejando bien ebrio y tubo un accidente trajico. Luego murio 
en el hospital, Catrino Rivas de Tegucigalpa Honduras. 

Mi madre cayo en un estado depresivo y me fui a vivir con mi 
abuela. Ella me crio. 

El alcohol no es de jugar. Es una de las drogas mas mortals. 
Cuando lo hagan, piensenlo 10 veces. 

From The Beat: Sentimos mucho que hayas pasado por muchos abuso. 
Esa es una historia muy triste. Pero eso es lo que siempre pasa cuando 
uno no tiene control sobre el alcohol. Si uno no sabe tomar, es mejor 
no tamar. Esperamos que no vayas sobre ese mismo camino y llegues a 
repetir la misma historia. Tu madre ya subrio mucho con la perdida de tu 
padre, no lo hagas sufrir mas. 

When I Bearly Become A Young Man 

Hi, I want to talk about when I was a kid. I remember my dad was 
an alcoholic. I remember that one day he grabbed a knife and 
wanted to hurt my mother, the lucky part was that my mom had a 
machete and threatened him. She told him that if he didn't drop 
the knife, she was going to attack him. My dad's brother grabbed 
him from his back and took the knife away and he calmed down 

I remember that one day my mom received a phone call 
saying that my dad was hospitalized because he tried to take his 
life away. He tried to hang himself by putting a rope on his neck, 
and the good thing was that the rope was rotten. I was between 
four and five years of age. This got stuck in me forever because 
family is our blood. 

A year later, we found out he was cheating to my mother 
with another woman and my mom left him. Later, we received 
a bad news that my dad was driving a car, was driving drunk, 
and had an accident. He died in the hospital, Catrino Rivas from 
Tegucigalpa, Honduras. 

My mother fell into a deep depression and I moved into my 
grandmother's house. She raised me. 

Alcohol is not a game. It's one of the mortal drugs. Before 
you do it, think about it. 

-Norlan, San Francisco 
From The Beat: We are sorry that you have gone through such an abuse 
like that. That's a sad story. That's what to expect when someone doesn't 
have control over alcohol. If you can't drink, is better not to drink at all. 
We hope you don't go through his road and repeat the same story. Your 
mother has suffered enough with his loss, don't make her suffer more. 

Movies Are Beautiful, But... 

If I could make one important change about media, I would 
change the emphasis about movies, for example Colors, Blood 
In Blood Out, Get Rich or Die Trying. There's too much romantic 
excitement about them, 'causing people to wish they were in that 
position of life. 

Movies can lure people into all of that bull and destroy lives, 
giving people a false sense of pride or a life that isn't theirs. 
They hardly ever realize that while they're busy trying to be 
something they're not, other people the actually people living 
these situations were forced into the life or born into it, and are 
on their knees in tears praying that their life will change.. 

-Smokey, Alameda 
From The Beat: If you could make a movie of your own, showing the 
harsh reality of a violent lifestyle, one that could genuinely teach, what 
would it look like? We all have a purpose in life, maybe yours is to write, 
direct, or star in movies that show the truth instead of the fiction! 


One important change is me! Only because I want 
something better for myself, a better life. I'm so tired of 
the way my life is, and it's up to me to change. It took a 
lot for me to turn myself in. I don't like it in here, but 
who does, right? Turning myself in was the stupid and 
smartest thing I ever done. 

My PO says she's glad that I did. It would have made 
the situation worse if I didn't. 

Best believe this is my last time for me here. Besides, 
being on the run away from home, hustling, and wandering 
the streets gets boring and very tiring. It's the same shhh. 
I know I ain't missing out on nothing. It was the drugs 
that got ahold of my head. 

Now that I'm sober I don't trip on what I left behind 
- the homies, streets, drugs - because I know that will 
always be there. It's just my addiction I have to work on. 

Crystal Meth ain't no joke! I could go on and on about 
what I did here! I would rather leave the past alone and 
keep moving forward on where I want to be. Keep positive, 
stay positive, be positive is what I'm looking forward to. 

Thanks to The Beat Within for making my time here 

-Victoria, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We appreciate your shout-out to us, Victoria, but its very 
clear from this piece that you've done a lot of thinking and growing - and 
changing - on your own, too! We really respect the honesty you show 
here, both in actions (turning yourself in) and in words (this beautifully 
expressed piece). Don't forget the lessons you've learned being locked 
up. There might be temptation once you're on the outs again, but we 
think you're too smart to make the same mistakes twice. 

Bad Teen 

As a teen I've done many things: 

Fighting at school, 

breaking all the rules, 

Just running wild. 

My mom used to call me the devil child. 

I remember when I got my first cell phone, 

I thought I was the shhh, talking all night long. 

The very next day I had to do chores, 

And I said forget a chore, 

And walked out the door, 

When I came back home 

My mama took my phone, 

And said I was acting too grown, 

My step father used to always beat me, 

And then turn around and say he's just tryna teach me, 

I told my mom, but she didn't care, she said I'm crazy 

And maybe I am, 

My therapist thinks, so to that's why I'm on lithium, 

Not to mention 800 milligrams of seraquil, 

Yes I did all these things, because I'm a bad teen. 

-Andre, ALameda 

From The Beat: Great poem Andre. With each line you give us a nother 
glimpse of your life, from the mistakes you make to the humor you have 
to the struggles you've faced and the tears you've shed. Maybe you've 
done some pretty bad things/but no one who reads this could call you 
bad teen! 


Pops: How You Raised Me in Life 

Sitting here on my bed 

thinking about so much. 

My heart is aching. 

Life is getting real rough. 

I miss my momma and my fam. 

Maybe, I should have seen 

the road of quicksand. 

Mentally lost in this world. 

Still trying to figure out who I am, 

I hurt deep inside 

and love for the world is what I truly lack. 

R.I.P. to Ray Warren, Pops'll be my first tatt. 

But I walk around here all mad like I'm crazy. 

Love is what I lack, so emotionally I'm very lazy. 

Dang, where did I get this fearlessness from? 

Must have been pops, he raised a careless son. 

When I was growing up, best believe straight A's, 

ya boy wasn't close to dumb. 

After poppa died ya boy's learning ability disappeared, 

or maybe just went numb. 

All kinds of therapy to help this born baby gangsta. 

Poppa would have wooped my "grass" 

if not A's, till this day I love you, 

and I thank you. 

For all of those years you were alive, 

you were a good pops and to mom you were worthy. 

I look back and remember what you did for money, 

dang that stuff was real dirty. 

But you never missed a beat when it came to your 


You would take me by granny's house in the town, 

drive through all the hoods and just show me around. 

Dang, Pops I really miss you. 

If I were to see you I really wouldn't know what to say. 

You'd probably woop my "grass" because of where I'm at 

in life today. 

Lock down in a bathroom shed. 

Pain, life, and money always on my head. 

Hopefully, the path I'm on I won't end up dead. 

But enough with that, let me finish my story. 

One thing I wanna say to you Pops, is that I love you and 

I'm sorry. 

All these men crossing mom's and my path trying to play 

your role. 

When they don't look I hit their pockets 

they don't leave without a toll. 

Careless, yeah that's me. 

But in reality, just born and raised like pop: a G. 

Dang, I sit and think what role model you would have 

been to me? 

That ferments deep inside of me, 

feels like it'll never sleep. 

No man could take your place, 

Pops, you were the best... 

I hate these suckas mom calls her boyfriend. 
And how they try and pound on their baby chest 
But pops I really love you, I'm a end this with just that. 
And good looking out pops for how you raised me, 
I don't think I turned out too bad. 

-Lo, Solano 

From The Beat: This is a moving tribute to your father. You sound 
grateful for his love and what he was able to give you in the time he 
had. Some of the lessons he left you with sound contradictory. Love 
him, and think about all you have learned. What could you do with your 
life, for you, if you could follow your dreams? 

To My Baby 

I cry for you but you can't hear me 'cause your gone. 

I wish to see you and it breaks my heart that I can not. 

You are my only true love in life and always will be. 

People hate me because your gone but all I can say is 

I'm sorry and I wish that you weren't. 

I miss you but I know that you're hear for me. 

I want to see you but all I see 

Are flashbacks that I really don't want to 

'cause it's too painful. 

I want to be in your arms and I can't. 

I love you so much, 

And people try to tell me I don't but I really do. 

My life had gone down and you brought it up. 

You filled my life with hope and love 

And now I have neither of them. 

I want to end my life to be with you but I cant's 

Because I have to be here for you and for us. 

I wanted to keep you safe and I didn't. 

I hate myself everyday because I could have stropped it all, 

But I didn't, I was scared for my life. 

I wish that I could just see or hear you tell me that 


Will be okay, but that will never happen because you are 


It hurts so much that I just don't care about living any 


I know I shouldn't but I just do and I cry for you but 

You can't hear me because you are gone. 

Every day I wonder when I can be with you again. 

-Candice, Fresno 

From The Beat: Candace, we are VERY sorry for your loss. We hope you 
know that the people around you are just trying to help and may not 
realize that its not helping. God give you strength to get through this, 
so you can see him when its time. 

Never Again 

I can never trust you 
I can never love you 
I can never be with you 
I can never listen to you 

I can never miss you 
I can never kiss you 

I can never have sex with you 
I can never talk to you 
I can never go to sleep with you 
I can never say bye to you 
I can never say hi to you 

I can never laugh with you 

I can never go anywhere with you 

I can never take pictures of you 

I can never hug you 
I can never say I love you 
I can never cry with you 
I can never sing to you 

Because you ruined my life and so I can never be with you 
again. I can never do things with you because you broke 
my heart once not twice. 

-Candace, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing Candace, sometimes we need to 
stand our ground. We're happy for you to begin a new positive chapter 
in your life! 


A Rap: Never Again 

It was this one time 

It made me mad 

It was this one time 

It made me sad 

It was this one time 

My homie, it was something he had 

It was a cigarette 

And he asked me to take a drag 

When he first asked 

I kind of lagged 

I didn't want to say no 

'Cause then 

He'll get mad 

So instead of answerin' 

The question he had 

I kept walking down 

The street watchin' the cars 

As they passed 

We was on our way 

To this one pad 

I almost made it too 

Without taking a drag 

But my homie was steady sayin' 

Chicken and "fag" 

So I got mad 

And took what he had 

It was the last of a cigarette 

With only one drag 

When I inhaled 

My lungs just crashed 

And then out of nowhere 

I started to gag 

And I told myself 

That was the last 

In my head 

While I still coughed and gagged 

That was the last 

Even as the cars still passed 

That was the last 

Even as my homie laughed. 

-Hermes, Fresno 

From The Beat: Peer pressure is a difficult thing to overcome, but the 
important thing is to know who you are and what you believe in. It 
sounds like you have learned from your mistake. In the future, how will 
you overcome peer pressure and say no? 

A Man with a Dream 

I once was a man with a goal. Now I'm a man with a dream. 

I use to post up on the block serving rock of cream 

but now I realize life is more than the street. 

I gotta get out there, experience the world and see what's 

out there for me. 

It's gonna be good and bad times. Life can't always be sweet. 

And if I fall I'm a rise on my own two feet. 

I can't do it for my dogs I can only do it for me. 

I might be locked up for now but in my heart I'm free. 

Got me battlin' my enemies like Muhammed Ali. 

Rumble in the jungle is what I do to get free. 

I just thought I'd let the world know that I had a dream 

that I was sitting on a throne with the crown of a king. 

I'm like MLK— another man with a dream. 

That all for today, so to all my fans 

I holla next time or when I see you again. 

-Mobchyld, Solano 

From The Beat: We agree that you are a leader, and we wish you very 
well. Check us out at the Beat in SF when you get a chance. 


I am sad 

I am mad 

'Cause I can't find my dad 

Now, I am no longer sad 

Now, I am no longer mad 

'Cause I've been reunited with my mom 

Not my dad 

He can't be found 

'Cause he's six feet in the ground 

But, now he's been found 

So, I no longer frown 

'Cause I know now 

But I don't know how 

or why? 

Now I sit here and cry 

I still don't know why? 

-Robert, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thank you for expressing yourself through a form of a 
poem. Mourning the death of parent has to be very difficult. Keep on 
writing and talking sometimes it takes time to heal, but it becomes part 
of who we are. These are memories of the souls that were once with us 
We are proud to read and share your expressions. 


If I was to change something it would be this world. I 
wish they can wipe out the world and start new, 'cause 
this century is messed up fo' real. People goin' to jail 
left and right. People gettin' smacked like it's a part of 
life. I can't even tell you how many loved ones I've done 
lost. It's like every time I get a phone call something is 
happening negative, not positive. 

This shhh is really getting' tiring, to be honest. It's 
killing me slowly. I know for a fact that if Malcolm, Martin, 
Marcus, or some important black person was alive, they 
would feel like, "What did we boycott for? Why did we 
walk from Alabama to Selma?" 

Hey, until this world changes, things are going to 
happen. I'm in it for Sky and Cheeda. 

-Money Earn Vera, San Francisco 

From the Beat: As Michael Jackson says, "start with the man in the 
mirror". Remember that change begins with one. Lets start with you and 
work out way out. You can't wait for things to change. You have to be 
the vehicle for change. Maybe you'll be the next Martin, once you get 
your life on track. 

One Important Change 

My one thing I would like to change is my ways and to 
get out of this ugly place. 

My important change will be to start respecting my 
mom and to stay next to my family and to stop smoking 
and drinking. 

When I get out, I'm going to start going back to school 
and get good grades and prove to my mom that I can be a 
good son. But it's really hard to change my ways because 
I say I'm going to change but then I don't. But because I 
didn't listen to my mom, I'm in here so I made a really bad 

Now that I'm in here, I remember what my mom told 
me, there ain't no place like home. I really miss my house 
and my family. I hope I make good choices next time and 
everything turns out good and the judge lets me get out. I 
hope my mom and the rest of my family forgives me. 

-Anthony, Fresno 

From The Beat: Now is the perfect time to start over and start showing 
others that you are ready to begin respecting those you care about. You 
sound like you already have a plan on how to show others that you are 
ready to change. The road might not be easy, so remember all you have 
been through and stick with your plan. 


My Life 

When I was two, I got taken away from my parents 
because, they used drugs and they couldn't take care of 
me or my other siblings. That is one day that I will never 
forget. After that day I've never been the same. 

When I first got taken away I was put into foster 
homes and I just couldn't handle what had happened. So 
I just started messing up my life. I've been in and out of 
many different foster homes. I've been in about seventeen 
foster homes in six years and about nine different group 
homes in the same amount of time. I've been in and out 
of Juvenile Hall and boot camp. I think about that day 
mostly everyday and it still hurts to think that my parents 
would let me and my siblings go over some drugs. 

I'm seventeen now and until this day I can't find it 
in my heart to forgive my parents; even when I did live 
with my parents I had a rough life. I never had the best of 
clothes, or we never had really that much food, I remember 
kids used to make fun of me. I used to wish that I could 
just help my parents become better people. But over time 
I had enough strength to be a better person, and not let 
other people bring me down, and I hope one day I will try 
to forgive my parents, for all that they've done. 

-Isreal, Fresno 

From The Beat: These are some powerful words. Alcohol and drug 
addictions are nasty, sucking, gripping of family lives. Innocent lives 
such as yours are affected. We can not even begin to understand your 
trials and tribulations. Every child should have healthy responsible 
parents. The question is why did they choose the drugs over you? Well, 
to us with sober minds it seems like the answer is quite simple, but 
its not. They are in the mist of a sick disease and the only thing that 
is important to them is their fix, now and the next. It also kills brain 
cells. In some cases healthy minds and bodies can be lost forever. Your 
parents needed help right-of-way. Not everyone is a success rate. You 
are a young man who will be making your own path soon. Do not feel 
that you have to do this alone. You have gone through so much that you 
will have to work out many things. If there are mental health services 
available to you, use them. Your writings present yourself as a very 
good, noble, articulate, strong and many more positive characteristics 

Woman For President 

I think the whole concept that women can't do as men 
do is utter and complete bullshit because of the fact that 
they get looked down on if they try to be independent; 
therefore, they eventually become stronger than most 
men because they are always fighting against all odds. 

We, as men, usually have the odds on our side; 
therefore, we have it easier. Plus, some women deal with 
abuse and self esteem issues of trying to fit in and most 
overcome that. Like, I know a woman who has ultra curly 
hair. When she was in elementary/middle school, kids 
called her Tumbleweeds. She hated it, but now it's her 
email address. She got stronger for that criticism and 
became a real woman. 

So in my opinion, and I'm a true man who believes 
along with other men, that women are more than capable 
of being in office. 

Most men are greedy and want what they "think" is 
best for the nation, or what they say they "know," but in 
reality they only want something that will benefit them, 
not the nation. 

A woman who has kids understands the needs and 
wants of people better than men because they go through 
the hardships and learn the needs from the wants. So 
once again I believe women are much more capable than 
most men. 

-Derrick, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thank you for supporting this topic. Your words count 
so much and hopefully open the minds of those who think differently. 
We strongly support your opinion and also agree that they are capable 
of doing what men do or maybe better. Who would make a great female 


I am a very confused person. 

I am not retarded, not slow, just confused. 

I am not an angry person 

although sometimes I feel angry. 

Sometimes in my life, I feel like I want to give up. Not 

suicide but as in not caring what I do 

or how I do. 

But then another side of me won't let me give up, 
no matter how mad I get, 
or how frustrated I get. 
Something won't let me. 
It's probably because I'm not a weak person 
although sometimes I feel I am, 
in my mind but my spirit is stronger. 

So I guess I'll keep moving on. 
Although I don't regret anything I did, 
'cause a regret is trying to reflect on changing 

the past when you can't change the past, 
so a regret is really nothing. 

-Raymundo, Fresno 

From The Beat: Your confusion sounds like you are thinking about your 
life and how you can make it better. It is true that you cannot change 
the past, so it is important to know what mistakes you have made 
and understand what you can do in the future to improve your life. 
Writing can help you get your feelings out so you are less confused. 
Keep writing and moving forward. What in your life has helped make 
you strong through everything, and how can you use your strength in 
the future? 

Kids I Know, Around the World 

Hey Beat! How you guys been? Me I'm still in here! Well 
about today's topic, I think I would change some laws. I 
would change Prop 21, so kids won't be charged as adults 
at the age of 14. If the crime is big enough, I think that 
they still wouldn't be charged as adults. 

Hey Beat don't hate, that's just my opinion. I would 
change it so kids that I know could get out because 
basically they're gonners. 

I would want to change starvation. I would help make 
food for people in Africa, India, Mexico, all around the 

I would stop wars. That's all I would do to change 
things around the world. Oh yeah, I would also change 
for me to have money. Alright then Beat. Stay up to the 
homeboys I'll see you guys in the ranch, you guys know 
who you are! Alright then alrato, stay up. 

-Mr. Victor, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We respect your opinions. What do you think would 
the proper punishment for and younger person when committing a 
big crime? You have positive ideas in this piece. Hunger is a big issue 
around the world. There are so many people dying over this. Its a good 
idea. You can make a difference if you put your mind into it. Maybe the 
purpose of your life is to fix this conflict. 

Bay Area Living 

Growing up in The Bay it's a struggle, it's hard to get a 
job. Momma's on dope, baby daddies don't be taking care 
of their kids. No food in the house so at a young age we 
are forced to sell dope. 

We in and out of jail 'cause all we know is the hood 
life. Cats getting shot just 'cause they are from a different 
hood or another block. Police know you so well they 
call you by your whole name. Almost everybody smokes, 
drinks or do some type of drugs. 

One day I believe the hood gon' change but until then 
this is Bay Area living. 

-Mobchyld, Solano 

From The Beat: What do you believe will cause the change? What will 
you change? 


Do Good and Be Good 

Well this is Sleepy from Santa Clara. Well damn, I'm 
still here in the halls. The change I want to see is the 
homeboys stop getting locked up. 

Man, why don't you vatos do good and be good? Why 
do you do the same thing over and over again man? You 
guys say you're going to do good but you don't, you just 
come back. I see the same people over and over. It's funny 
how they say: "I'm going to be there for my family" but 
they don't think when they're out they just think about 
themselves and think they're never going to get in trouble 
but they do. 

I been here, in and out, for two years and every time I 
get out I see things get worse and worse. I see my friends 
getting shot for stupid stuff like drugs. I pray to god that 
my life won't be taken when I'm out there. It's a messed 
up world out there, I pray that I don't end up like my 
brother who has life in prison. 

It all starts right now, it starts when you're at a young 
age. It hurts me seeing these vatos that are ruining their 
life for some stupid stuff like failing programs like E.M.P 
or (The) Ranch. Man I grew up without my Mom, she's in 
Chowchilla in a women's prison. And I never knew my 
dad but I always lived with my grandmother. She visits 
me when I'm here and she writes me but I love her and 
pray for her. The streets will always keep calling. Well, I 
guess I'm going to cut this one short but to every one that 
reads this much love and respect I know how you hynas 
and and vatos feel. 

-Sleepy, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Sleepy, what's stopping you from putting the game to 
the side and moving forward with your life? Sure, you see the homies 
keep walking through that revolving door, but on the flip side of the 
coin, they keep seeing you as well. First things first, you have to climb 
out of the pit before you can help someone else out of it. You have to 
save Sleepy first. How tired are you of the situation you're in right now? 
That's for you, we don't need the answer in words. Break up out of their 
matrix... wake up all the way. Sleepy. Free you!!! 

As I Go 

As I go from this place to CYA 
I step into a place of unknown 
This place is far away from home 
Far away from peace 
Far away from a happy ending 

As I go I must leave behind my childish way 

As well as my baby face 

I must place my feelings on hold 

And harden my face that lets tears run freely 

As I go I must leave behind all my good memories 
All the times that I stayed up wondering, 
Wondering what is to come of me 

As I go I leave behind my mom's teary eyes 

My daughter's lonely nights 

But I know as I go so will my time 

But for now I'ma put this pencil down. 

To all those that must go know that 

We aren't the first and surely won't be the 


-Savage, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: There is nothing "savage" about this sad farewell. We 
hope you can enter the next phase of your life with an open-mind — 
seeking the best the system can offer in terms of education and skills, 
and seeking the best in yourself. Every "crisis" also brings opportunity. 
We hope you use this opportunity to make your future brighter than 
your past. 

My Regret On Drugs 

One time when I was little (well I am little, but I mean 
when I was littler) someone made me try to do something. 
You know when people try to make you do things you 
don't want to? Like when I was on medication and I hated 
medication I used to always skip them, I didn't care for 
the side effects. 

I wasn't the perfect kid. I thought that when the 
doctor said the meds make me stay under control so I 
did the opposite even when I took meds I still did what I 
wanted. So I did not take my meds but I took drugs like 
beer, cigarettes, weed, meth, because most of my friends 
did it to look cool. But I had my reasons to get high and I 
went to school for one year and I didn't do anything. 

I hated school but my regret is that I shouldn't have 
brought drugs to school. I'm not saying any of this will 
change my life but common sense is to think ahead 
because all of this adds up to madness if you keep hating 
yourself for this stuff. 

-Elisha, Fresno 

From The Beat: Sometimes we have to consider the benefit of the things 
we put into our bodies, regardless of their initial effect, and remember 
the harm some of them do even though the immediate affects are good. 
We hope you ask yourself. Which choice will keep you from using your 
common sense? 


The want for change can be so powerful that many may 
not know what to do. Some may not be able to find the 
courage to become someone better, so they continue to 
live the life they have been living. Dreams of destruction 
flood their minds. Their future seems to be dim and 
cloudy. Not knowing which direction to take, the road 
ahead seems unknown, no more than a mystery. 

So what are we supposed to do when we want to 
become someone better, someone different? 

The meaning of the word want is different to some. 
To some want is just the word that means they never had 
an opportunity to receive. To want sometimes can feel 
overwhelming, so they never want. 

So how are we to change if we do not believe we can? 
Many say it's possible, but some were raised to believe 
it's not. So what are we to do - living life by the code and 
conduct of street - loyalty, respect, revenge, money, and 
love. I guess there's no way out. 

-L-Phi, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You are clearly an intelligent fellow. We'd be very 
interested in your ideas about how to reach people who feel helpless, 
helpless even to want. 

This Time, Never Again 

Every time I said I would never do something, I would end 
up doing it. Anyway, an example is - 1 said I would never 
smoke meth. I would always tell my sister and friends 
that they are hella stupid for doing that, and they would 
tell me not to talk bad about something that I didn't know 

Soon after that, I smoked meth for the first time. I fell 
in love with it and didn't stop smoking it for three years. 
I started to feel like a real dope fiend so I stopped getting 

I've been clean for two years and I've never felt better 
in my whole life. I will never touch the meth pipe again. 

-Recovered, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: We are very, very happy to hear your story and to print 
it. Meth is the worst. To hear from someone who's said no to it gives us 

No More Mano e Mano 

I'm never ever going to let my mom down again because 
I'm tired of seeing her cry and I'm tired of seeing her 
worried about me, not knowing if I'm okay or if I'm even 
alive because these streets are crazy. 

There's no more mano e mano cause fools are starting 
to shoot, and I don't know if one of those bullets are going 
to hit me. Anything can happen, and your life can be gone 
just like that 'cause tomorrow's not promised to anybody. 
I'm going to stand strong for my momma until my casket 
drop until the next time. 

-Gato, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Again, this is your life! Who knows what the "next time" 
will entail for you? You can change... either on your own or by someone 
else. Who do you love more: The Homies or your Mother? 

Never Again 

This is the first and last time I come into the halls. I have 
realized that all I'm doing in here is wasting my time. This 
time had helped me to open my eyes and see that in here. 
I ain't nobody in here. I can't make nobody out of myself. 
We ain't shhh up in here! Open your eyes and realize what 
are you doing and what you want to do to be somebody 
in this f life. 

-Rey Rey, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Some lucky people, like you, need only one experience 
of slavery to realize that you control your destiny, and you don't want 
that to be part of it. For others, it takes multiple such experiences, and 
for some, they never learn this lesson! We just want to remind you that, 
although you have no power where you are, that doesn't mean you are 
nobody. You are still somebody, and always will be, as your writing 

Skip's Broadcast: The Definition Of Life, Part 1 \ 

Yo! What it be like Beat? Huh! You know a goblin like me 
in this g thang holding it down for my ninjas that's missing 
me on the outs huh! But yeah, onto this episode of reality TV 
called "Life." 

We supposed to be on this Earth with a purpose, but a 
confused black man like myself don't see what it is. But here 
my outlook on it, ya dig... Cethas and pops produce us, and 
we sit in the womb for nine months or less for my premature 
ninjas out there. When we finally leave the womb, bam! We 
got people expecting us to do something when we get older. 
Know what I'm talking 'bout? If you don't, I'm referring to the 
whole "the youth are the future" belief, which I believe is a 
100% BS. Wanna know why? Places like here! 

Now I ain't gon say we ain't play no part in getting here 
because we do! But yeah, back to "life," somebody tell me 
what my purpose is. All I see and all I'm involved is smokin' 
'dro, drinkin', gettin' money, gettin' females, laughin' on the 
block — and oh, did I mention gettin' money? I don't see no 
other option for me and I can't blame it on my fam 'cause I 
been takin' care of myself since I was a teen, and I'm 18 now, 
locked behind a wall like some damn caged animal... 

(To be continued...) 

-Skippa, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Look Skip, we can't tell what your purpose on earth is — 
or even if there's a purpose for any of us. Perhaps our purpose is to look 
for a purpose... But one thing we can tell you from doing this work for 
more than a dozen years is that you have something special. It's more 
than just a keen mind (which you have). It's a keen curiosity and hunger 
to know more. We worry that smokin' 'dro and drinkin', in particular, 
interfere with those special qualities, but that's for us to deal with We 
see so many more possibilities for you than you see for yourself. We 
hope you get into college, where you'll be exposed to many different 
people and ideas. There, doors open that you can't even know exist 
until someone shows them to you. So, don't settle for what the hippy 
generation called "Sex, drugs and rock and roll." All of those things can 
be great fun, but leave yourself open to the possibility that there's much 
more out there for you! 

One Important Change 

One important change that I want to make is me smoking 
weed. In court I got three extra chances to stop smoking. 
I refused to quit all three times. Now I got nineteen days 
up in here, and I might be going to a group home. 

While I was out, I didn't care at all about what the 
judge said. Now, when I go to court, whatever the judge 
says I'm supposed to do, I'm going to do. I'm tired of 
coming back here. Every time I come back, I'm here 
longer and longer, and it's all because of smoking. That's 
why, when I get out, I'm not touching a blunt at all until I 
get off probation. 

-Chino, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If giving up weed is enough to keep you free, then it 
sounds like something worth doing. You might want to consider seeking 
help, though, because some people benefit from being in a group of 
others with the same problem and some strategies for overcoming it. 
Good luck! 

Stress Is Pain, Pain is Stress 

What's good with it Beat? Once again, it's your boy 
Mouthpiece B. I am just chillin' and knockin' my time 
off. I probably won't get out until next month. I just came 
back from a visit with my mom and it was a very painful 
visit. As soon as I entered the room, I hugged my mom 
and felt her tears. It devastated me. 

She told me about the problems happening at home 
and how she and my dad fight about me being in here. My 
mom always sticks up for me, and I guess, my dad doesn't 
like that. I lived with my mom for the first seven years 
of my life without pops. He should understand why I'm 
not that close to him. I still love him, but it pisses me off 
when he goes off on my mom. 

It's not anybody else's fault why I'm in here but mine. 
I learned from my mistakes. The most important thing I 
keep on my mind is I don't only hurt myself when I get 
locked up but I also hurt my family and loved ones. I am 
proving to the system that I'm a good person and will be 
successful. The system doesn't know who I am; it only 
knows me through paper. I feel that it isn't right for the 
system to view me as a bad person because the papers 
say I'm bad. I guess, doing bad is noticed more than doing 

See, the system knows I run with gangs, get into 
trouble, and I admit I'm wrong in making bad decisions, 
and I learned from it. The system doesn't really see that 
I work and graduated school. I'm tired of being in this 
system. It just gives me more inspiration to be more 
successful. Also, I want to be there for my mom like she 
has always been there for me. I always tell her I'm going to 
change, but being behind these brick walls isn't helping. 
Again, actions speak louder than words. 

But, I'm going to do what I do and just be me. Whatever 
happens will happen because it is what it is feel me? Just 
to survive the real world 'cause I could survive here, its 
wack— being told when to eat and all that. I seem to be 
behaving well here. So hopefully on the outs I do well. 
God watches over me so it's all good. Until pencil meets 

-Mouthpiece B, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You began building on a fantastic point: the system 
doesn't understand you as a human being with multiple layers and a 
unique up bringing. You believe you are judged in the criminal justice 
system by what is written on forms or paper reports. You then used this 
understanding to try to motivate yourself to transcend the impersonal 
government structure. But, at the end, you seemed to give up and decide 
that everything is out of your control, only God can shelter you from the 
unknown future. Don't give up. Part of your personal success depends 
on you challenging yourself and achieving a personal revolution. 


My Life 

I have one important change I want to make, but it takes 
several changes to change this one, and that is my life. 
I have two options in life right now. They are: 1) just do 
what I keep doing or 2) take the right path and get my 
head straight. 

I know what I want to do. I want to get my life straight, 
but it's kind of hard letting everything go. I'm willing to do 
what it takes though. One of the hardest things is letting 
my old friends go. I need to change my friends because 
the ones I have on the outs are not good role models. 

I thought it was cool hanging with older people, but 
I realize now it isn't at all. After I started getting into all 
kinds of trouble, I kind of thought it was all my fault, but 
it really wasn't. 

I'm not trying to blame it all on my friends because 
overall it's my decision, but I think they kind of led me on 
to do bad things. 

After this last trip to the Hall, I have had lots of time 
to think to myself. I'm going to stop my old ways and try 
to do my best for what's to come in the future. Because 
I can let go of what's in my past, that's all old news and I 
can focus on what's to come later. 

I'm just going to focus more on my family and 
education. No more trouble making like the old me. I 
can't make a promise that I won't make a mistake, but I 
promise I will try my best to do whatever it takes to stay 
out of this place. 

-Taylor, Fresno 

From The Beat: Improving your life is an important decision. Turning 
your life around may take several changes, but trying your best and 
being aware of who your friends are is a good first step in changing your 
life. Reflecting on your life is important to do, so you can keep making 
changes in your life. What else will you do to be a better person? 

Around The Next Corner 

Around the next corner for me is CYA, a place I never 
thought I would see. But as I head there, I will go with 
my head held high, and my mind free of all the problems 
I faced from society. Don't get things twisted though. Just 
because I'm disconnected from the streets doesn't mean I 
got disconnected from my morals. 

When I get out I have to make better decisions than the 
ones that I made to get me here. I've told myself never again 
many times, but what I've been wondering is what change 
can occur in my life to make "never again" a reality, and not 
just a fantasy. 

While I'm there, I will use my time to go to college as well 
as get a job and play basketball. I feel as though those three 
things alone can keep my mind set on getting out, and also 
away from getting institutionalized. As I look around my unit 
that I rest in, I don't see one lost cause or a person without 
a future. There are many people around me who are talented, 
but just don't know it. 

I know two things for sure: I haven't reached my full 
potential, and this is not the end for me. All I can do is pray 
that when the day the door is opens for me to walk out, I will 
be prepared. It was nice writing for The Beat. Y'all heard me 
out when no one else cared to and I appreciate that. Hopefully 
when I get out I can write for The Beat again. 

Yours Truly, 

-Brandon, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: You've basically said it all, Brandon. There's nothing 
we can add to your very positive outlook toward this new experience 
that lies ahead. As we often say, it is your attitude that is the most 
important variable predicting success or failure. Your attitude tells us 
that success is far more likely than failure, and that you've turned a 
corner in your life. (One piece of concrete advice: avoid fights at all 
costs. They are used to add six months at a time...) You don't have to 
wait until you leave YA to write us at The Beat. We would love to read 
of your experiences, and to put them in the Beat Without. As you learn, 
you teach — and we are eager students. Good luck! 

Around The Corner 

Walking through my old 'hood, I see my ninjas drinking 

and smoking, 

but it's no good. 

Around the next corner, I see a ninja selling dope, crack, 

and meth. 

Around the next corner a man beating his wife to death, 

Around the next corner a ninja getting jumped. 

Around the next corner toys going thump thump thump, 

Around the next corner a girl selling her body 

after a couple hours spending all that money. 

Around the next corner ninjas comin' up on 7/11 

Around the next corner a ninja on his way to heaven. 

Around the next corner of my life it' all a beautiful life. 

Moving to a nice neighborhood nothing felt so good. 

From my new house, I look down the street. 

No one worries about losing sneakers off their feet. 

Around the next corner, kids run and hide 

but it ain't from the police and light fills their right eyes. 

Around the next corner kids get along, 

the love of this community is built very strong. 

Around the next corner everything is at peace, 

and the quietness can show us how beautiful birds sing. 

Around the next corner I'm back at my house 

I see how I can change and what I really want to be about. 

Clean money, more money, no jail, no hell, no deaths, 

but a warm house to come to and my wife waiting on my 


-Berto, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It seems like you got tired of living in the same 
environment you have been living your whole life until now. To think 
positive is what's going to take you to another positive paths, another 
new life, a new you. If what you wrote at the bottom is what you want, 
fight any obstacle you meet to make it happen. Everything is possible! 
If others in the same situation or worse have done it, you can do it as 

The One Thing I Can Change 

One important thing I would change is the corrupt 
justice system and the law officials who run it. In many 
cities, states and countries, there are laws that we must 
abide by. I notice that most law officials think that they 
have a higher authority, (which most do,) but they take 
their actions out of context in most cases, abusing their 
authority of power, leading to false imprisonment, false 
judgment, citizens being framed, perjury, and a bunch of 
other things, along with people being wrongly accused. 

If I could change that, everyone would have a fair 
trial. There would be no more resentment towards the 
innocent, no more false accusations. The justice system 
would be perfect. It would only be meant for criminals 
who actually deserve to be locked up in cold cells, eat 
horrible food, and be told what to do and when to do it. 
Overall, the system doesn't care about what they do or 
even how they do it. All they want is a paycheck. 

Some people in the system and some laws in the 
system are all for the people. They need more recognition 
for their honesty and loyalty to the people, and being 
for the people. And us citizens of this unfair and cruel 
country need to pay more attention to this and commend 
what needs to be commended. 

-Jenaeya, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We greatly admire your goals, even though we wish 
you had given us more suggestions about how you would go about 
achieving them. As you point out, the problem with the justice system 
(often) is the officials who run it. Human beings will always be subject 
to the corrupting temptations of power, so how would your eliminate 
that? Which laws, in particular, do you find worthy of commending? 

Kitsunians Rising 

It was before sunrise when Jekan Blazer woke up. He 
got out of bed and stretched. Today was the day that 
the boy enlisted into the Kitsunian Academy of Tactical 
Combat (or K.A.T.C. for Short), which taught fighting 
techniques more advanced than that of the planet's most 
elite forces. The K.A.T.C. was recruiting young, healthy 
adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 to train for 
classified causes. 

Excited, Jekan had volunteered after a long three and 
a half years of waiting. 

He received a phone call at precisely 9:00 pm, the 
previous night. It directed him to arrive at the K.A.T.C. 
at no later than sunrise. Alone, Jekan donned his brand 
new camouflage combat uniform and black combat boots 
which were supplied by the academy. 

After getting ready, the boy stepped out of his warm, 
cozy house, and into the chill of the morning air. 

There was a heavy fog hanging all around him, making 
it difficult to see. It was so cold that when he exhaled, a 
warm, misty vapor hung briefly in the air. There were 
icicles hanging from the snow-covered trees, from last 
night's storm. That meant that the river would be easier 
to cross, now that it was most likely frozen. Jekan 
glanced at his watch, which read 5:21 a.m. Sunrise was at 
6:02 a.m. Even if he were to run harder and longer than 
ever before, he wouldn't make it there on time unless, 
of course, he crossed the river, and that would only be 
possible if it was frozen. Jekan realized he was shivering 

He also knew by just standing there he was wasting 
his precious time. He took a deep breath, and set off 
towards the K.A.T.C. 

After a grueling thirty-two minutes of nonstop running, 
he came to the river, which happened to be frozen. Jekan 
carefully crossed it, and went to the bordering wall of the 
K.A.T.C. He knew there was a weak spot in the barrier, 
and found it without a problem. The youth kicked at it 
until he was able to put a hole in it. When the wall was 
breached, he expected various alarms to sound. None 

When he looked at his watch, he was shocked to 
find that he only had twenty-six seconds left. He quickly 
climbed through the hole, ran towards the doors of the 
academy, and tagged them. As soon as he did, the first 
rays of sunlight crept upon him. The boy had barely made 
it. Once he caught his breath, Jekan looked around. 

His impression was how big the K.A.T.C. actually was, 
which was about as big as a small town. He turned about 
90 degrees, only to find a pile of black camouflage clothing 
under a nearby tree. Curious, the boy moved closer to 
investigate. Once he was near the pile, Jekan saw that 
they were breathing. That's when he realized the pile of 
garments was in fact a female in K.A.T.C. attire similar to 
that he was wearing. She just sat there, appearing to be 

When Jekan stepped closer to wake her, she sprung 
into a front flip, landing only inches from his face. 
Startled, he stumbled backward and fell on his back. She 
walked around to his head, and bent down to look him 
in his face. Her long, shiny, jet-black hair dangled down 
near the ground. The young lady's emerald green eyes 
sparkled at him as she flashed a dazzling smile. 

-Kitsune, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: Holy Cow Kitsune, this guys in for an adventure. We can 
feel it. Excellent writing. Looking forward to the next installment? 

Never Again 

What I did that I would never do again is driving a stolen 
car. What I did hurt my family, not just emotionally, but in 
a chance to get evicted. I regret doing what I did because 
I wouldn't have my mom in the predicament that she's in. 
My little brothers need me at home because they look up 
to me. I am a good role model towards my little brothers. 

My mom expects me too do good in school, play 
football and go somewhere in life, give good support to 
my family, take care of my girlfriend and especially my 
mother. Because I owe it all to her, she's always been there 
for me. My dad hasn't really been there for me. He would 
come around sometimes, but he doesn't give me enough 
support that I need. I look up to my mother because she 
always tells me to make the right choices and to hang out 
with the right people. 

I will not ever come back in here again, and that's my 
word. I will admit that I need help to stop smoking weed. 
But other than that, I'm positive that I won't end up in 
here again. 

-Michael, San Francisco 

From The Beat: No one knows the future, so you can't be positive you 
won't come back. (We say that to remind you that if things go wrong 
— even things over which you have no control — and you find yourself 
locked up again, don't take that as a sign of failure; just get up and 
keep going!) But we truly admire your recognition of how you've 
disappointed the one person in your life you owe the most to, and your 
promise never to do it again. Don't let your love of weed interfere with 
this responsible decision to do the right thing. 

Wasted Time 

Wasted time is exactly how it sounds - pointless. 

Nothing to do, no one important to see, just new faces to 

meet. Locked up is nothing fun or helpful. 

You take a kid, lock him up, and take him away 

from the things he needs most, 

like family, friends and school - how does that help? 

If anything, it only aggravates the situation. 

Being locked up fails for everyone. 

People can go crazy and that right there will alter your 

as well you will see. 
If the system wanted to help 
it would think about the best for the individual 
rather than for itself, or what looks like the best. 
That's why I have no respect for the law-makers 

- not the ones who say the law but the ones that invented 

It was so long ago. Times have changed and so have the 
people. Adaptation is what we have to come to, whether 
we like it or not. 

-Chew On This, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: How are you adapting to the system? And in what 
particular ways would you suggest that the system adapt to todays 
realities? Imagaine that for a short time, you had all the power and 
authority you needed to change the system in a way that would make 
it better for kids, families and the greater community. What would you 

Skip's Broadcast: Never Again 

What it be like Beat? Huh! Shhh, a ninja like me holding 
it down for the thugs. But I'm doing me at the same 

But to the matter at hand, something I would never 
do again is plant a seed in a woman and not be able to be 
with my kid 24/7. I made that mistake once — not saying 
it's a mistake because I love my little one — but I wasn't 
ready and it resulted in Alyssa being born. Part of that was 
because I was intoxicated, so it altered me mentally. So 
that is something I will never do again unless I'm ready. 

-Skippa, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is a good message for every young man, in or out 
of the hall. Its so easy to prevent unwanted pregnancies that it is very 
irresponsible not to do so. (Of course, being intoxicated is just another 
way of saying you were being irresponsible...) We hope Alyssa gets what 
every child deserves: two decent and committed parents guiding her 
through life. 

Around The Corner 

Around the corner is a drug store 

There are fathers that need to actually be fathers. There 

are prostitutes that need to be mothers, sister, brothers, 

friends, and family period. 

Around the corner is my baby boy that I want to be there 


Around the corner lays Doshe's body with 5 bullets in 

his face. 

Around the corner is love that everyone wants. 

Around the corner the corner is thugs, murderers, thieves 

and liars that just need to be cared for. 

Around the corner is my playa potna that I love so 


Around the corner. . . 

-Miss Manditory, Alameda 

From The Beat: Beautiful poem, beautiful thoughts, we are sorry for the 
grief and pain you must be feeling now. But even in your pain you can 
see how even the worst "criminals" are looking for love and care. 

Ride for a Better Life 

This is your boy, Roger, coming at you from this small 
town! One thing that I would change is whom I chose to 
hang out with, like the so-called "homeboys." They say 
they've got your back, but when you get caught up they're 
not there for you. They don't have your back! I've always 
been down with putting in work for the game. It feels 
good and you feel honor and pride except you ain't got 
a thing when you locked up. I've experienced this and I 
have had time to realize what I was doing wrong, and how 
stupid it was. 

At the end of the day, I didn't gain anything. I lost 
almost everything. I just want to tell all of you homeboys, 
think about what you do and the consequences. Think 
about what you really value and want in life and how 
you're going to accomplish that instead of thinking about 
how you're going to get rid of enemies. You don't really 
need anyone but yourself and you have to ride alone. You 
have to choose what you are going to ride for. What am I 
going to ride for? A better life! So yeah, that's what's up 
homeboys. I'm keeping it real. Late Beat. 

-Roger Rogue, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: We really like how this piece evolved from a past 
experience to how it has shaped your current thoughts about your life. 
We hope that you'll keep reflecting in this way because it will help you 
to do just what you said — figure out what is important to you. It is 
true that if a person is focused on getting rid of "enemies" and always 
conforms to negative energy, he/she will have very little room in life to 
be open to positive opportunities. 

Never Again: It's Family 

There's always somethin' somebody would say that 
they wouldn't do again. Like ditching school, smoking' 
weed, poppin' ecstasy, drinking beer, and all those crazy 

Well, let me tell you something. I will never take from 
my family again. Even though it was my stepfather, I stole 
over five Gs in cash when I was eight years old. He found 
out a week later. He whipped my ass with a metal stick 
until it bent and I couldn't breathe. A day later, my sister 
told her school counselor and the school counselor called 
the cops. 

The cops came and took my two sisters, two little 
brothers, and me. We went to the shelter for two months 
after that. My stepfather got locked up. That was a bad 
experience at that young of an age. And it was all my fault, 
and I still regret that to this day. 

-Saetern, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is a heavy burden for you to carry around all this 
time, Saetern. We understand why you feel so guilty, but we don't 
think it was "all" your fault. Of course, you are responsible for stealing 
his money, but you were only eight years old! That is too young to 
understand consequences, and correcting you required a much more 
gentle approach than what your stepfather administered. Beating an 
eight-year-old with a metal stick IS child abuse, and, like you, he had 
to be held responsible for his actions. We're sorry he got locked up and 
that you and your brothers and sisters were taken away, but adults 
should not be allowed to beat children any more than children should 
be allowed to steal... 

A War To Survive 

It's a war to survive now a days cause AK blaze every 
night. Youngsters are in the street having gunfights. 

Is this the life god planned for us? 'cause if it is, man 
it's real messed up. Every b.g on the block was ready for 
war. Disrespect our manhood and it was time to go. 

Ninjas didn't think before they act. They put my cousin 
six feet deep in his casket with his mother at the funeral. 
In a way I seen over fifty tear drops fall from her face and 
it hurts to say my young cousin gone away. That's the 
price you pay when you enter this game. 

-Lil Rolo, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss, and feel that you are asking 
some deep questions about the meaning or reason for the war. It's too 
big a price to pay, to play this game — we think. 


Me, I am soldier, so if you knock me down once I gon' get 

up twice 

For real y'all in this game ain't nothing nice 

Anybody got a problem we can stand toe to toe 

No fear in my heart is what I letting 'em know 

Alameda County Juvenile hall across my chest 

So much anger and pain I can't put to rest 

I look in the mirror and tell myself what's the image 

That reflection say I can do anything, no limit 

My brain is big as the ocean and I letting my intelligence 


God is my heart and his love running through my vein and flood 

Never go caught before but now I fighting that 187 

I hope the men forgive me 'cause I want to go to heaven 

The quietness at night made me feel closer to God 

With him by my side I up against any evil and odd 

They lock me up, I feel trapped yes indeed 

Even my maturity and age number increase 

Mama I promise you I will be better than the old me 

-Lil* Chopstick. Alameda 
From The Beat: Another powerful poem Tony, who would have known 
when you first came to the hall, that your spirit would prove so strong 
and tall, that you'd bring us the truth like a street preacher/and your 
skills would make you a top Beat teacher! 

Deangelo And Counselor Rick Talk About Having Kids 

D: I have my baby mama, but I feel like she's distancing herself 
from me, now that I'm down at the Ranch. We've been together 
two to three years. But I call her, text her, but she don't seem to 
have time for me. If she want to go her own way, I still want to keep 
givin' her some money for whatever she needs for herself and the 
baby, when she gets born. I could ask my uncle now, to go over to 
her house and give her some money. 

I don't have a good relationship with my mom, but if something 
happened to her, I get tears and I start to shake. So I want to have 
a good relationship with my baby mama and my daughter. 
R: I've got two people I'm responsible for. Now you got two people 
you're responsible for. Now I got to think out of the box, and you 
do, too. You gotta man up and stop doin' foolish things. Your baby 
momma gotta know you're gonna be there for her and the baby. 
She's alone and pregnant now, and she's scared. Maybe she's 
protecting herself by pushing you away now. Are you having a boy 
or a girl? 
D: A girl. 

R: Just like me. There's something about when your baby daughter 
first looks into your eyes. Your daughter's going to learn from you 
how men are going to react to her. It's like you're her first date. 
She's going to learn from you how she's going to see herself in the 
world, how men are gonna treat her. The first time I looked at my 
daughter, I realized she looks just like me. I call her Little Ricky. I 
took one look at her nose and felt sorry for her, because she's got 
my nose, but I knew, that's my daughter, my boo. Now I gotta be a 
role model for her. There aren't any books out there to tell her how 
to be a good mother. Did you have a father? 

R: Neither did I, so you know what it's like not to have a father 
around to teach you what you need to know. Even if you had a 
stepfather and he was good to you, it isn't the same as if it were 
your own father, so you know how important it is to your daughter 
for you to be there for her. 

I met my real father when I was forty, but I looked at him 
and said to myself, "Where were you all those years? You never 
took me to a baseball game," but he's back with my mother now, 
and makin' her happy, so I'm tryin' to give him a chance to be a 

My mother had another child five years later, but it wasn't the 
same. I felt like I was the outsider in my family, even though my 
mother was my mother, and my little brother's, too. I felt like a 
stranger. My family feared me more than loved me. 
D: I see my uncle and his kid, takin' him to ballgames. Tears just 
come down my face. Where is my father? I was in school, thinkin' 
about him, and I just crumpled up my paper — what this shhh for? 
I can't get into school. The pain is messin' with my life. My pain 
is awful. 

R: Your already playin' with those things. Your guardian angel is 
watching over you. You still got chances. The pain you feel inside, 
you gotta turn it around. You gotta say, "The pain I feel inside, my 
child is never gon' through this." 

Just don't get locked up again. In prison you get 12 cents an 
hour. Most guys I know had a four-year run. You gettin' it out there, 
you got a crew. It's gonna take a year or two to get an indictment 
on you. 

I have a friend who's 28 now. When he was 22, he started makin' 
his move. He robbed my uncle. All this money he made is down the 
drain. He has a city job now, but he has a $2,500 rent. He's alone in 
the house. He's used to livin' high! I'm gonna help him out. 
D: Two years ago, a counselor would ask me, "How does it feel 
not to have a father?" I was like, "I don't know, I have an uncle." 
But now that I'm about to be a father, I'm wondering what would 
it have been like have had a father? Maybe he would have stopped 
me from... 

R: Before, I used to be in the streets. I would do whatever I wanted. 
Now you gotta stop whatever you're doing, which isn't gonna be 
that easy. You gotta stop being selfish. You know what it's like not 
having a father. How'd you like being walking down the street, not 
with your baby? 

I'm not together with my baby mama, and she has a boyfriend, 
but if she has a problem, she calls me--that's what a man does. 
D: When you do time — you know, the most hurtftul thing is the 
time with the people you took for granted. 

R: Maybe a lot of time maybe we'll make excuses — "She'd 
gonna do what she's gonna do." "Maybe I'll send her cash." 
So maybe she's tryna push you away, but you can tell her you're 
gonna be there for her. Maybe she'll say, "Maybe I don't need shoes 
that cost $200." 

Maybe you can say to her, "I'm gonna be in your life." You're 
gonna nurture her. You don't want no other man to be your baby 
daddy. You know what it's like not to have a father. It doesn't cut 
it if your daughter says some day, "My father was a sav. My father 
represented." If your daughter just sees you drop off cash at the 
house, that ain't really love. When she has a nightmare, and you're 
there, she can climb into your lap and you can make it better. 

I grew up with a lot of bailers — that had a lot of gear. You 
think kids care if they have the latest whatever when they're seven 
months old? Love is when you take them kids places, share that 
bond. They remember when you went to the ball game, took them 
camping. She'll say, "I remember when he took me to see snow for 
the first time," not, "My father bought me a car," "Auntie bought 

I ain't seen my baby but three weeks this whole year. You 
know what I'm thinkin'? 
D: Snatch her. 

R: Right. Snatch her. I'm her natural father. My baby mama's 
boyfriend was saying, "We don't think you need to see her right 
now." There was a policeman right there and maybe it was a good 
thing, because I was thinkin' about snatchin' her, killing him, but 
I just said (to the policeman,) "See what I gotta go through?" 

I got my dates to have my daughter from the court, but she's 
not there when I go to pick her up. But know if I snatch her, they'll 
say, "He is a sav, a monster." 

Be different from the statistics viz. a viz. what they want for 
us. It's not just a black thing, it's a poor thing. They don't think 
our kids can compete with their kids, who go to private schools, 
etc. That's why they build these prisons. They think we'll say, 
"Why should I wait? I can get this cheese right now, and we'll end 
up in prison, and our kids will, too." 

D: My problem is with the homies. I been in shootouts, police 
chases, lost my virginity with these cats. I got deep down love for 
these cats, straight up 100% love for those cats, but when I get 
locked down, they're not there for me. I'm goin' solo, man. 
A lot of times, when you don't have a father, you transfer the love 
to your homies. The love I was supposed to have for my family, I 
had for my homies, even though they didn't earn it. They proved 
so many times they didn't have my back—they led me to trouble. 
They never say, "I'm dirty right now." They rather have another 
with them if they have a fight in the car. They want you to ride with 
them. I kept makin' excuses for them. I was ready to fight for them 
in the halls, but when someone disrespect me in the halls, they 
(my homies) just laugh. 

R: They lost out on that. Who should have your love, your 

D: My baby mama. My daughter. 

R: She's always gonna look like you. I saw my baby's nose, and I 
said, "I know that's my boo." I was there when I cut her umbical 
cord. You're part of the separation. It's spiritual, man. 

Sometimes we (guys here) have discussions (down at the 
Ranch) — "What would you be like if you had a son or a daughter?" 
Some say, "If I had a daughter, I'd go see her for an hour or two, but 
if I had a son, I'd take him to the park, play ball with him." 

I used to run with a lot of girls, but once you have a daughter, 
you really start thinkin' about what it's like to be a girl. When my 
daughter was eleven, she came to me and said she had to go to the 
drugstore. She confided in me. It meant so much to me. 
D: I hear you, man. Thanks for talking to me. 

-D and Rick, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Thank you for sharing this important, heartfelt discussion 
with The Beat. Everybody has feelings about these relationships (at least 
with their own mother and father) and in order to cause the least pain, 
its crucial we think things through before we have kids. It must be really 
scary and frustrating to have your lady about to have her baby and you 
not being able to be there for her now. Have you ever asked yourself why 
you messed up so badly you got sent to the Ranch, just when your baby 
mama needed you most? How do you feel deep down about her having 
your baby, and, especially, about your becoming a father? If you mean it, 
why don't you write her a letter and explain to her how you sympathize 
with her now, when she's so vulnerable; apologize for not being there; 
and explain what you're planning to do to be with her and the baby when 
you get out? 


7 nn 

//// // 

Do What I Got To Do 

I'm back in the hall for my second time. I said I was never 
coming back to this place but here I'm writing again in The 
Beat Within. I'm not saying "never again," but I am gonna try 
my hardest to stay for real this time when I get out. 

I'm in here 'cause I acted when I was mad and didn't 
think of the consequences. I'm 18 now and reality kicked in 
the day after I knew I had it to turn myself in 'cause it was 
the best and I need to start showing responsibility. And now 
that I'm 18, I need and I have a lot of responsibilities. 

Most likely I'm getting out the 23rd and do one month 
on EMP. I'm gonna do everything right 'cause I don't want 
to come back in here again. In the outs I left a lot of people 
I love and care about, and it hurts not to be able to talk to 
them or see them like before. 

My baby is in the outs and I'm going crazy without talking 
or seeing her. I miss her like crazy, but she knows it was best 
for me to do my time, and she understands me and she said 
she will wait for me. 

When I get out I'm gonna do my programs, I'm gonna 
look for a job and go back to school and get my high school 
diploma. I turned myself in to start clean and start all over 
again. As my life goes by, I've realized that I've broken too 
many promises, so this time I'm not gonna promise anything 
to anyone. I'm just gonna try my hardest and prove to myself 
that I can do it. I just gotta do what I gotta do to get back into 
the right path and do good. 

-The Just Got To Do Kid, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: You know what? You're right: promises don't mean 
a thing if you don't mean to keep them. What really matters is the 
determination you've got inside yourself that says you're going to do 
everything you can to make sure you change the path you've been on 
up until this point. We think you're smart to recognize that making 
promises in the past hasn't really worked for you. It sounds, however, 
like you're growing up and learning what MIGHT work for you: thinking 
about the consequences of your actions before you commit them (i.e. "if 
I do this thing, it's gonna get me locked up again"). We hope you stay 
true to that focus, because we'd bet that those loved ones on the outs 
are depending on it! 

Changes in Life 

Changes in life are important, because you can never do 
the same thing over and over again. 

Changes in life make living more fun and productive, 
if the changes you made are good. 

If you have a family to feed or raise up, you can't go 
out banging and not pretend you don't have stomachs to 

A change can save your life in many ways, like go 
work and study and this reduces the chances of getting 
shot or arrested. 

Another important change in life is to work to have 
a home, a place to rest, a place to have privacy.... or you 
could just be a crack head and live under a bridge. 

-Mariguanote. Alameda 

From The Beat: All these changes sound like they could make a person's 
life better - are you speaking from personal experiences, things you've 
witnessed or gone through yourself? 


Mom's Cancer 

Hey Beat, it's Haley again, coming at you with more 
news. My mom's cancer is progressing and her health 
really bad. 

I'm scared that finally my strong mother has become 
weak. I'm pretty scared that she's going to die while I'm 
in here but then again I'm also kinda feeling strong about 
my mom because she is so strong... But yah I hope she 
will be okay. 

-Haley, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thank you for continuing to update all our readers 
about your mother's help. We hope that she recovers, and we hoep you 
are both reunited soon. 





If I could change something I would change people being 
poor and having nothing to eat and nowhere to live in the 
world. The world's so rich, nobody should be poor. We all 
need money. 

Sometimes I hold people hostage for it, beat them 
down for it. I wish I could work for it instead. Even though 
I didn't got caught for them things, it still can come back 
to you, like having a thing and the boys get on you, but 
you don't know how you slip up. That's karma. I believe 
in that now. 

-Aj, Alameda 

From The Beat: You bring up a lot of important points, Aj. No one should 
have to experience the hunger or homelessness that poverty brings, but 
at the same time, no one should have to get beaten or mugged for their 
money. It's such a complicated reality, and we hope you keep writing 
about it. 


Hnw It Can Be 

Never again will I live my life in sin 
playing all these girls smoking trees and drinking hen 
never again will my soul get me drunk 
I'll never be a coward, beating women that's a punk 
around the next corner is a gun 

caught up in the game, you don't live to see your son 
you're waiting for your girl to come home 
seven month pregnant got hit with the chrome 
everything spinning and the world blowing up 
stressing hecka hard hit the weed or drink the cup 
but that's how it ends up, and that's how it be 
running in the streets ends up a killing spree 
life is what you choose it, it is what it is 
got caught slipping hecka drunk and off thizz 
now what's cracking soft bread in the basket 
and you on your death bed laying in your casket. 

-Mays, Alameda 

From The Beat: You describe beautifully the things you don't want in 
this life. But what The Beat wants to know is, what is it you do want? 

/ turned myself In 
to start clean and 
start all over again, 


Death Amid The Corner 

Death around the corner that's all I see. 

Evil has a conscience that wants to speak. 

Killing everybody is the evil's faith. 

Corresponding to God to open heaven's gates. 

Is that what I want? To run with the devil 

To be the devil's play mate to be on his level? 

Or walk with God in the shadow of light 

I'm kind of confused you give me the advice 

Don't be stuck and stick in the stone 

Because death is around the corner and doesn't want to 

be alone. 

-Lil' Olive Street, Alameda 

From The Beat: Very powerful, thank you for sharing. The question is 
yours to answer for yourself. If the devil's faith is death, do you want to 
kill or do you want to live? 


7 nn 

//// // 



This is the first time I have been in JJC. I am in here for 
something I do almost everyday. I like to steal. It comes 
natural to me. 

This is something that I don't like to do but I do it for 
the thrill as well as for the money. The money is good. I 
used to buy lots of Mary Jane and liquor. 

What I'm trying to say is that something that comes 
natural to me got me locked up. It is my first time in here 
and it is the one thing I will try never to do again. 

I know the day I get out, if I don't stop my old ways, 
I might as well not leave this place. But life is hard for a 
young male in these Fresno streets. 

The only way you can make money is making that 
money, cause money makes the world go round. Coming 
up is the one thing I am going to try and stop because if I 
don't I could end up getting killed. 

Also, Juvenile Hall is a bad place for kids. You have to 
ask for permission to do everything. Keep your head up. 
I'm out! 

-Kevin, Fresno 

From The Beat: Learning from the things you have done in the past 
helps make you a better person for the future. What will you do to keep 
yourself from getting stuck in those situations of your past? Also, what 
else comes naturally to you, but won't get you in trouble? 


If I had the chance to change something, I'd change my 
whole entire life around for the best. 

I would listen to my mom and be much more respectful 
towards adults. If I had that chance I'd be the best person 
and show my mom and family how much I love them and 
even show myself some love. Changing is one of the 
best things any person will be able to do. It takes love, 
respect, and just trying. A person can only change for 
themselves or for no one. 

Now to this day, I regret not listening to my beloved 
family members. 

-Treyvon, Fresno 

From The Beat: Treyvon, realizing that you need to change something 
about yourself is one of the most difficult things for a person to do, no 
matter if they are an adult or youth. You should feel proud of learning 
so much about yourself. It also sounds like you regret not listening to 
your mom. Have you told your mom and others that you are willing to 
change your life? Maybe you should write to her or tell her this the next 
time you see her. Overall, what will you change in your life to improve 



encouragements don't need ya 


These are my 


What I say is evident so you should implement. 

Life is heaven sent so don't feel discontent. 

Every misspent decision has a consequence. 

To live is hard like cement, but nonsense you can 


For you life was meant, and can't be resent. 

This writing I present is through great lament. 

Your work is to an extent, but you should well represent. 

Whenever you have an argument bad things don't intent. 

Good things don't circumvent, because you will always 


Guns cause foment, you shouldn't be hell bent. 

Negative opinions you should dissent, try something new 

and relent. 

-LIT Nite, Solano 

From The Beat: This is some serious encouragement, 
what you read for inspiration, fun, and education? 
good readers as well, and it enhances your life. 

We are curious 
Good writers are 


Late Nights 

Stayin up at night 

With no one in sight 

But still keep somethin' to my side 

Feelin high like a kite 

But paranoid inside 

Thinking someone's gonna swing by 

Using this stuff everyday 

Risking a chance to take 

Am I gonna make it through the day? 

My heart's telling me to "stop" 

My body's telling me "no" 

Every minute feels like I need more 

She's addicted to this stuff 

As time flies by it gets rough 

All I need is just one puff 

My mind's playing tricks on me 

Please let it stop please 

Damn I can't control this feen 

It's like a demand inside 

That cant be controlled no matter how I try 

I'm feeling like I'm dying inside 

I got myself trippin' out 

And peepin' out my window 

Checking my telephone for taps 

I got to keep myself on track 

It's crazy when you feenen for it 

My mind's playing tricks on me. 

-Lady Happy, Solano 

From The Beat: What do you think of this story now? What will happen 
if you return to this drug? Have you decided what you want to do with 
your life? We find that being creative can counteract the impulse to be 
self-destructive. Did you notice you call yourself "she" in the middle — if 
this is not a mistake, what do you think that means? 

No Regret 


I smoke the weed trying to hide the pain 
Spending all of my time smoking my life away 
You can feel it inside, take a look in my eyes 
Can you feel the pain? 
Mary, Mary take my pain away 
With struggle in time spittin' all over my face 
Take a look in my eyes, don't you dare look away 
Mary Jane maintains, trying to hide my pain 
You ain't gotta be a doctor to see that I'm sick 
Especially when I'm locked up in the county with no 
money for bail 

I've done well, I rock well, my eternal restin' place is hell 
I don't care to play fair 
Screw the world and everybody in it 
I'm so damn bored with life that I'm yawnin' 
I don't even see the sun dawnin' 
In fact, I'm pissed off when I wake up 
Because I lived to see the mornin' 
I live my life by the second with no regret 
Like Rodney I swear I get no respect 

Screw running from it, I feel hunted by the general 

They love criticizin' people like me who stay blunted 
Chain smoking and drinking liquor all night, livin' toxic 

-Temper, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Its the quality of your writing that elevates it to a co- 
pow, not its content. The truth is, we think your blunts and booze are 
messing with your mind, making it that much harder for you to think 
clearly about life and your role in it. Maybe you "don't get no respect" 
like Rodney, but it seems to us that not even you respect yourself, your 
body or your mind. To put it another way, although you write that 
your habits have you "livin' toxic," we think a more accurate description 
is "dyin' toxic." We hope something will jar you into realizing there's 
a world of things you've never experienced, but are there for you to 
discover. But you have to be willing. 




7 nn 

//// // 

The Pleasant Life 

I want this world to be pleasant. I think pleasant is the 
correct word. I live in Fresno. I see lots of things go down, 
but not pleasant things. 

Pleasant would be helping your family and friends 

I tell myself hundreds of times not to do unpleasant 
things. I know that from now on I'm going to stay 100% 

Just stop and think about yourself. Is it worth it? 
Maybe yes, maybe no. But I know one thing for sure, just 
try to stay pleasant and think about others. 

Stay out of this life. Do good and make your family and 
friends proud of you. Just get along and have a pleasant 
day. Just for once. Words are strong so get to know them 
and use them in a good way. 

-T, Fresno 

From The Beat: Your words are strong. Knowing that you are thinking 
about others and trying to improve yourself will definitely go a long 
way in making a better future for others and yourself. There can be 
a lot of negativity in the world. How can you help your friends and 
family make their life more pleasant, and just as importantly, your life 
as well? 

Someone Who Believes 

I ran into an old friend the other day, we'll call him 
"skinny." That's what I call him anyway. He was almost 
as bad back in the day as I am now. I ran into him on the 
way to court, and we reminisced about the old days. We 
talked about the future, and what he told me really made 
me think. 

He spoke of long term sobriety, not just faking it for 
probation. He talked about the future and college. I'd 
recently taken all of this into consideration but had never 
actually met someone who actually put it into play. He 
seemed so happy. Happier than the last time I saw him. 
He promised to be my mentor on the outs. 

We pinky promised (how lame, huh?) that we would 
keep in touch. That really meant a lot to me. No one has 
ever offered to help me. They just tell me what a screwed 
up junkie I am. They tell me I need help but don't offer it 
or tell me where to find it. I've dug myself into a hole and 
the judge is filling it back up, with me inside. 

I don't know what my next court date will bring. But 
now I know I have someone who believes in me on my 
side, someone besides me who knows I'm capable of 
doing good. I thank you. 

- Sean, Fresno 

From The Beat: This story inspires us, and reaffirms the belief that 
people will help us heal, if we surround ourselves with others that are 
concerned with healing themselves too. Good luck Sean, and tell your 
friend Skinny we said good looking out. 

Being Locked Up 


Man, not being at the house is the worst feeling because 
you miss your mom and your family. Because I know 
myself I get homesick all the time when I am not home, 
and when I am home I'm not even home. 

I know when people get locked up people get homesick 
and then the person everyone is going to call is their mom, 
but she is the one that we treat the worst. And when we 
get locked up we are not with our moms and then we get 
locked up with our friends but you don't see them in here 
or coming to visit us. 

-Chewy, Solano 

From The Beat: When you are a teen you see yourself reflected in your 
friends, and are learning to become independent from your parents. 
This can be confusing, but it doesn't mean you don't love your parents. 
It does mean you need to be careful who your friends are. 

The Belly of the Beast 


Well first of all I would like to say what's up, long time 
no see, Beat. Well the topic of the day I chose was "never 
again". Well, what I hate, first of all, is when people say 

I will never come back. Well you could say that, but if 
you really be faithful and be real and stay out of the belly 
of the beast then it's all good! 

I'm coming up on you but for a kid like me this ain't 
no place for me. This is a place for people that promise 
themselves that they will never come back to this place. 

Second, I would like to just inform the people as in 
"teens" to just be you and stay out of them streets. Last 
but not least, all I got to say is, never say never until you 
be about it. Stay solid. 

-Joe, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Hey, once you're there, you're there. Until one decides 
that one does not want to be there or return to that place one will 
continue to get into trouble and end up there. Awareness is key. 
However, we do agree with you on keeping it real with one's self. If 
you're not real with you, progress is almost impossible. 

Infill' To Get Out! 

X. T Hnn't like thp«p npnnl 

I don't like these people that be acting like you with the 
shhh. People getting shot every day for bullshhh. They 
be shooting at people like they don't give a damn. People 
like they with the shhh, and they is not with the shhh. 

Quit acting like you with the shhh, if you not with it. 

I am just tryin' to get out. I just went to court today. I 
just caught a new case on some bullshhh. When I get out, 
I am going to do good. This shhh is bullshhh. I hate it. I 
got to do me, quit doin' all that bad shhh, be good, stay in 
school. Start to stay out the way when I get on my toes. 

For all y'all that don't know about YGC, you don't 
want to know. Stay out. I need to get off probation. I will 
be cool, and stay out of trouble. 

-Copious, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We know that we would hate to be locked up and having 
to answer to a bunch of strangers! So, we hope you are able to keep 
the promises you make her to "be cool" when you get out. Sometimes, 
"doin' you" can get you into trouble (we're not saying that about YOU, 
but about anyone), so always be aware of the possible consequences oi 
your choices, and if you're willing to accept them, go ahead and act. But 
if you don't want those consequences, then avoid the action. 



The Thinis he Sen 


I wish I can rewind time and take away all the things I've 


I've seen so much. It's unbelievable. 

I've seen things like brutal beatings, almost to death. 

I've seen pistols pulled at people's head. 

I saw a kid get run over by a truck. 

I've seen a hundred thousand dollars cash. 

I've seen worse than this, I just can't put it down on 


For all y'all out there thuggin' on the block, let it go. 

It's not going nowhere. It's not a game out there. 

You can be used as an example. 

Somebody can see something happen to you. 

Out there thuggin' something's goin happen 

So keep your eyes open. 

-J-Jona, Fresno 

From The Beat: We agree, you have seen quite a bit, more than anyone 
should have and you seem to have learned. You can see what lies up 
ahead. You know what's coming. You have lived and learned and there's 
no reason for you to see that stuff anymore. There are other things to 
see in this world. We thank you for caring about those still out there. 
We wish you well. 


7 nn 

//// // 

Greed Will Imprison Us All 

Let me tell you something about that phrase. It starts 
with money problems. 

So my family always had trouble paying bills and I 
didn't like seeing that. 

So what I did was sell drugs to help out and make it 
easier on my folks. I wasn't old enough to get a job. But 
anyways, I started making money. That made me greedy 
for even more. 

Soon I got locked up. I came out a month later and I 
was still greedy for that money. So I started selling again. 
Got the bills paid easier than before and had even more 

Soon I forgot about the bills and only wanted to get 
whatever I wanted. Guess what! I'm here writing to you 
about this story You can guess why? 

-Tuan, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: Yes we can. And we appreciate you telling it like it is. 
What we'd like to know is this: what have you learned about greed? 
What have you learned about money? Have you learned enough to be 
able to earn your money honestly? The quality of our lives is closely 
connected to what we value. Have you re-prioritized your values, as a 
result of your experiences? 

Link Ip lo Me 


I'm never going to go to juvenile hall again because you 
do the same old thing again and again everyday. 

Whenever I get locked up I think of my little brothers 
that look up to me. Another reason why I'm not coming 
back here is because I get letters from my friends saying 
how much fun they have and how many parties they been 
going to and all the drama that's been happening like 
fights and shootings and it just gets me mad because I'm 
not there and something bad might happen and I'm not 
going to be there for my homies. 

But I have to make a hard decision and choose my 
homies or being free from the halls. I have to try my best 
to not do drugs and stop getting in trouble. 

-T, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It may be a wise decision to let go of these homies of 
yours if you don't want to end up back in the hall or worse. They're 
out here fighting and shooting or around areas where fighting and 
shootings are happening... sounds like a recipe for disaster. You know 
the real... your life is in your hands. Decide your future. 

A Change I Would Like To See In The Court System 

What's up Beat? Today I am writing about one important 
change. One important change I would like to make is the 
court system. 

The court system is a couple of crooked people who 
don't know what they are talking about. They just give 
you a lot of time because they see a lot of movies. Also, 
if you are Latino, Black, or Asian, that's when they try 
to get you. They think you gang bang, even though you 

I would like to be the judge and put all the fools that 
work for the court system in jail to see what they say 
when I give them life. After I see them crying because they 
got a lot of time, I would like to make fun of them, and 
give them more time. 

To all doing time, keep your head up. 

-Stomper Malo, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We think it would be a good idea for everyone who 
has the power to send someone to jail to have to experience some 
time behind bars. We don't think it has to be "life" thought. That's too 
harsh for anyone and everyone! But here's an interesting idea for you 
to think about: if "they" would learn what it's like to be jailed by you 
change, what do you think you would learn if you were given their 
responsibility temporarily, and it was up to you to make judgments 
about young men like you who have broken the law? In other words, if 
"they" have something to learn, do you? 

He Changed Me 



It's me once again, still waiting up here to go to my 
placement. Anyways, I changed my ways of gangbanging. 
My ex- boyfriend passed away on march 27, 2007 
because of gangbanging. Someone shot my baby and 
I couldn't do anything about it because I was in here! I 
wish I could've been out there to see him for the last time 
and let him know that I was showing love by helping out 
his family and friends come up with some money for his 

Well, I don't want to explain myself too much on this, 
because it's making me get a bit down. My ex was the 
reason I stopped gangbanging. He always wanted me to 
do good and not be a little chola always busting "jales" 
en las calles. So, I'm out. I've been out since the day my 
baby boy left me and got sent up above. Much love and 

-Claudia, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: We are so very sorry about your friend. Stories like this 
make us cry, and then they make us want to work harder to change the 
situation so many young people find themselves in. What would you do 
if you had the power to make the lives of your friends, and even the 
lives of those you think of as your rivals, better? 

Never Again Fnr This Homeboy 

Well to start off, it's the homeboy coming from The Max. 
So when I was going to Utah to live, you know what I'm 
talking about, going on the run, we stopped in Reno, 
Nevada. I got all dressed up with my carnal and my pops 
and we went to the strip on foot. I popped 2.5 Green 
Naked Ladies (Ecstasy/Thizz) and my pops got us a bottle 
of Christian Brothers Brandy. So we were all messed up 
by the time we hit the strip. Even my pops was messed 

Anyways, we all went in the casinos and the lights 
were tripping me out, 'cause I was hella thizzin. I'd never 
been out of Cali, so I did not know what to expect. In the 
casinos, they were giving us more beer for free. Then my 
carnal sparked up a stoge (cigarette), and I was tripping. 
But it was coo' though. After we lost like $50 bucks, I said 
let's bounce to another casino. We went and for some 
reason, I just didn't feel good. I started throwing up on 
the side of El Dorado Casino and then I started seeing 
colors. I was trippin' the hell out. So we decided to dip 
out back to the motel, but we got lost. 

We walked a whole different way to a different motel, 
6.5 miles away! So we walked like six hours and found 
out that it wasn't our motel. Suddenly, some white boys 
came and tried to jack us. My dad, my carnal, and I said 
screw this shhh, and started smashing on them. I pulled 
out a rock that I had, and we jacked them. 

Later on, we started walking back to the casinos and 
finally found our motel. The whole messed up thing of 
this situation was we were in a different state, a different 
city, and we were lost, while we were all messed up off 
liquor and thizz. I'll never be in that predicament again. 

But yeah, anyways stay up to all the homeboy s that 
miss their family, their homeboys and just realize there's 
always hope even for the homeboy Me! 

-Chango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We really appreciate all the details in this well-written 
piece because its in the details that we can feel like we're right there 
with you. We have to warn you, though, that you're snitching out your 
dad in this piece since he committed the crime of providing liquor to 
minors. (It's a crime even when it's a father-son relationship.) But beyond 
that, when you get so drunk and messed up on ecstasy that you start 
seeing colors and throwing up, you're setting yourself up for another 
brush with the law. Whatever your father does, we hope that you take 
addiction seriously before you do something that will have permanent 
negative consequences. 



7 nn 

//// // 

Law Enforcement 

If I could change anything it would be law enforcement, 
some laws and some people. First, I would take out the 
gang enhancement. Gang enhancement is like charging 
people for being Mexican - next thing you know there'll 
be a Mexican enhancement. 

Next thing I would change is the 3 strike rule. If you 
mess up 3 times your life is done, what type of s*** is 
that? Especially because if you're already in the system, 
you'll most likely going to keep on getting arrested for a 
little violation and the violations end up misdemeanors 
and the misdemeanors up felonies. 

Next I would change the cops who think they are 
above the law, searching people for no probable cause or 
suspicion, they just try to break people. 

-Lil Silent, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: There's a few good things you're pointing out here. Some 
of these policies are hard to enforce without being unfair to certain 
groups of people. And yes, police have issues sometimes. But they are 
pretty much powerless if you have the law on your side, if you don't 
break the law. 


A Big Problem 

Alcoholism is a bigger problem in today's society than 
everyone thinks. It may not seem to you that you are 
addicted to alcohol until you don't have some. 

It starts out as every now and then, at parties and 
then everyday, even in the morning and in the middle 
of the day. Then it begins to make you sick when you 
don't have it and it takes more for you to get your fix 
or the same feeling that you so desperately need. 
Depending on your family you could be put out on the 
streets at an early age. 

The first time I got drunk was when I was 13 and it 
was over my friend's house. I got so drunk, I threw up and 
felt like shhh the next day. I still wanted to be drunk even 
though it made me feel worse later and I just kept getting 
drunk to avoid the bad feelings. 

-Andrew, Fresno 

From The Beat: We commend your humble acknowledgment of the 
problem of alcohol. Alcohol has no mercy. First we take the drink and 
then the drink takes us. Work on beating this sickness!! 

I'i Ginna Be There 


I'm gonna do my own topic and talk about young men 
being dads. The reason I'm doing this topic is because I'm 
about to be a dad. 

Young men that are going to be dad should take care 
of their responsibilities and be there for their baby's 

They should start to straighten up their act, stay out 
of trouble and go to school. Another thing is that they 
should keep their promises and words that they make to 
their baby's mom. 

So it's just to keep in mind to those that are gonna 
be there for their kids. As for the ones that are here for 
theirs and doing their things, keep up the good work. 

I'm just gonna say that I'm gonna be there for my 
baby's mom and my baby girl when she's born. So to my 
lady I'm always gonna be with her and support her and 
take care of them. I'm gonna get my education and be a 
good father. 

-David, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thank you very much. Its been a while that we haven't 
gotten such as incredible and positive thinking from you. You're on 
track. Keep your thoughts positive. Everyday when you get up, set 
another positive goal into your mind. That will help you make all your 
thoughts and dreams come true. We are having a feeling that you will 
make it and be a good father and man. 

Dad's Not Acting Like Dad 


Hi my name is Andrew. I got a story about a dad that was 
there physically, but wasn't there mentally or emotionally. 
I knew who my dad was, but he didn't act like dad, he 
acted like some random person, he also responded better 
to his first name, Andy, than being called dad. 

He wasn't there for me. He doesn't even know I am 
locked up. I grew up with him until I was eight years old. 
Those first eight years where filled with a lot of anger and 
hate for him. 

If I could ask him 1 thing and get an honest answer is, 
why weren't you there for me? 

-Andrew, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We see that anger and hate is very active in your life. 
Is this the reason why you're acting the way you are? We suggest you 
to get rid of your grudges and start focusing in your life. You have so 
much talent and love deep inside of you. We see it and know it! Forget 
whether he was there or not. You are almost a grown up and you should 
star thinking like one, as you work towards getting out and returning 
home to your mom. 


Too Late 

This is all we know about... slanging, banging, an' killing 
for our turf. When we was small, jail was cool. You always 
wanted to be like that one big homie. He had money, cars, 
girls, and clothes. 

Then you get a little olda. Now what you think we 
gone do? Be like that one big homie, with cars, clothes, 
etc. Then you go to juvenile an' see this ain't shhh. Now 
you get out with braggin' rights. Then they send you to 
a grouper, but that ain't enough for you. Then you come 
back an' they tryna send you to Philly, or Oregon, and 
now you wanna change, but it's too late. 

-Low Dog, San Francisco 

From The Beat: No, its not too late. That's nothing more than a cop out 
so that you can keep doing what leads you here. We know many, many 
people who've experienced the whole nine yards — from the hall to the 
grouper to YA to the state pen — who still have managed to open their 
eyes and make the changes they need to make to avoid being someone 
else's slave. You may CHOOSE not to change, but don't pretend that 


Away From Her 



Never again will I get really drunk and make my girl 
friend cry. When I'm sober everything is great between 
us, but when I'm drunk all my actions change. When I am 
drunk it makes my lady sad and angry at me and when I 
am sober I would do anything to make her happy, but it 
changes in bad ways and sometimes even worse ways. 

The last time I saw her I left to get drunk with my 
homeboys. The same day I got arrested and charged with 
burglary and assault, which is really serious. When I 
became sober I was in juvenile and realized I wasn't going 
to see her for a very long time. 

I call her almost everyday or whenever I can and write, 
but nothing can take away the feeling of being next to 
her, and the way her lips felt against mine. I know she 
is missing me like crazy but I can't stop thinking about 
her. Whenever I go to sleep and dream I am still thinking 
about her. 

When I think about things I would change in my life 
right now I say never again will I do stupid things that 
will get me into trouble that would take me away from her 

-Payaso, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Well, we support you on getting yourself together and 
straightening out the crooked places in your life... but do it for you. 
Of course your girlfriend motivates you to do better but that wasn't 
enough to keep you on the right path. So, now you've got to motivate 
yourself to get right. 



7 //nn 


To me, Oakland ain't nothing but a hell zone for young 
black teens. It seems like everybody wanna be a hustla, 
pimp, or just a grimy cat. Which to me is really getting' 
played out because a lot of people are losing their lives 
over stupid stuff. A lot of people is fakin' and they not even 
macking it nowhere. They just want their face to be seen 
so somebody would give them some type of attention. 

-Jay-O, Alameda 

From The Beat: Very true. We are looking forward to hearing more from 
you. Your type of realization is exactly what we need to hear more of in 
the Beat. Keep writing! 



Me I've been lonely for a long time 

Locked inside of a facility for a long while 

Haven't touched a loved one 

I feel I'm on my own side 

No one near me 

No one to hear me cry 

I need spiritual love 

A young lady to hug 

God in my life so I could get to the heavens above 

Maybe one day I will get out of this hole 

Of a straight downfall and nowhere to go 

-Jay-O, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful and painful poem to read. A lot of 
people reading this Beat share the loneliness you are feeling. You are 

Feel Free? 

How can we in here? Anyway, why talk about the vice 
president's daughter being pregnant? In my opinion, 
screw her! Let's talk about the young girl that died in the 
drive-by shooting the other day, not to mention she was 
pregnant and she died. The baby died too. 

That just wasn't right. She didn't deserve it, but death 
came anyway. Me personally, I would have been in the 
house but she was at the wrong place at the wrong time. 
Everybody, except family and friends, said oh well and gave 
a shrug. Hopefully, she and her youngling are in paradise 
somewhere. So I would give a damn about a Republican's 
daughter being pregnant when my people slay each other 
for money. 

I hate McCain because he reminds me of Bush. In 
November, I'm going to vote for the Black man Obama. 
Hopefully he can make a difference. Maybe, he'll be worst 
than Bush, but I have faith. 

-Young Voice, Alameda 

From The Beat: We appreciate you putting things in perspective. Young 
Voice. While the country focuses on Sarah Palin's family issues, they 
are minor things compared to the tragedies occurring in our streets 
everyday. What do you think we should take away from the death of 
this young woman and her baby? And what needs to happen to prevent 
these deaths? 


Never Again, Part I 

Well, I'll never again put myself in a position to take me 
away from the woman I love and from my family that loves 
me. I put myself in a position where I need to leave them 
out there in a world of lonely struggles. My girl and family 
worry about me and want me to be with them. I've realized 
that I'm lucky to have them in my life, and that's why 
never again. 

-Bugzie, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: If you've truly realized what a treasure you have in your 
girl and family, then coming here made the difference that needed to be 
made. Don't forget the promises you made here once you're out there. 



All day hustling 

All night up 

This girl be a gangsta 

Spitting for fun 

I don't tell stories 

Or play any games 

This is all real business 

Running through my veins 

I live to make money 

Speak to gain respect 

Been like this since I was little 

Played with the rules 

So I had to lose the game 

Now I'm in the hall 

Going to court to clear my name 

I know it'll take time to fix 

And time is all I got 

Just beginning my journey 

So holla at me on the outs 

-Vicki, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Since you are just beginning your journey, as you say, we 
would like to offer this tip. You say "I live to make money". We think you 
have it backwards. We agree that money is important. But it's important 
because we need it to buy food, have a place to live, buy clothes, music, 
books, etc. Money is only useful because it helps us to have what we 
need to live and to enjoy our lives. Money is a tool, something we use. 
Please, don't confuse money with purpose and meaning. That comes 
from friends, and family, and work that we enjoy - work that helps 
make the world a better place. And it comes from the art we make 
music, poetry, quilts, dancing, etc. 


X pTwo Things I Would Change In The Hood \ 

Two important things I would change about my 
neighborhood are the dope-heads and the police drive-by 
harassments. The dope-heads are in the hood just to get 
high and steal everybody's goods. It could be a homie's 
family house, but a dope-head would not care about who's 
house it is. He/she will rob it. 

And the police, that's another thing. They see us 
walking down the streets and they will pull us over for 
nothing, nothing at all. We may just want to go to the 
store to get some milk and bread and the cops would pull 
us over claiming we look suspicious. It never changes. 

Sometimes, when the homies see you talking with the 
police by yourself, they think you're giving information 
out. The homies will start to look at you weird. The cops 
may pass by and ask, "Hey, what's up?" while you're with 
homies and suspect you're up to something. 

-Mas Firme, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thank you for sharing the interesting politics in your 
community. Beyond simply wanting them to disappear, how do you 
think one can stop the dope-heads from behaving the way they do or 
the police from meddling in everyday affairs? How did it become this 
way in the first place? 


So She Can Proudly Say 


I will change the way I am, so I can make my jeflta 
(mother) happy, so when people ask her where I am, she 
can proudly say that I am at school, that I am doing good 
and that I am going to graduate high school. 

I don't want her to lie to her friends and my family. 
This time everyone is asking where I am and my jefa tells 
tern that I am working or that I am at school. I am tired of 
seeing my jeflta crying so I am going to change. 

- Jovany, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That's the right thing to do. It make us happy to know 
that you're thinking about your mother. She deserves better. And better 
for her is what you are thinking of doing differently. So besides school, 
what else are you going to do positively? 



7 nn 

//// // 

Change The System 

One important thing I would change is the court system. 
Especially if you are a gang member. Because for what 
ever crime they try to add a gang enhancement and that's 
an additional 5 years or 5 years added to your maximum 
confinement time. 

To me that's scandalous because anything I do they 
try to wash me for it. It's crazy I know two of my boys one 
of them bangs and the other one doesn't but, one of them 
got caught up for a stolo and the other got caught for the 
same thing and they gave my homeboy 7 extra years just 
because he was a gang member. Well anyways I would just 
change the court system well Beat I'm gone. 

-Young Goofy, Solano 

From The Beat: Do you think these laws keep anyone from joining 
gangs? Did you think about the possible time "enhancements" before 
you did your crime? What is the idea behind laws like these? We are 
glad you are thinking on these things. 

Never Pop Pills Again 

This one time, about three weeks ago, the weekend 
before school started, I was with my two best homies, 
and we decided to have the best time of the summer, and 
we did. But I did something for the first time in my life: 
I snorted a pill. I popped three ecstasy pills and I took 
about three shots of Hennessy. 

I will never ever again snort a pill. Even though I had 
a fun time, I will not be doing that again. 

-Chino, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're curious to know why you've decided never to do 
this again, especially when you say it was fun. We think you're making 
the right decision, but we're curious what led you to it. 

Life As R Beezie 

It's a easy but hard life 

Not married but have a wife 

I'm married to the streets 

Livin' where ninjas 

Robbing, shooting, and killing to eat. 

Selling drugs for a reputation 
Running with mobsters 
Older folks would say we misbehavin' 
For the hood I'm workin' and slavin' 

Mind focused 
Body workin' 
Money motivated 

Sexual behavior is good 
I'm behavin' 
But in the end... 
My life is betraying... 

And faded 

Tell the world 
And the man above 
Thank you for letting me 
Make it. 

-R. Beezie 

From The Beat: We hope that you WILL make it, but from your poem, 
we have our worries. You are a talented writer, R. Beezie — we hope you 
use this skill to get out of your current "marriage" 
betray your life. 

Surrounded By Fools 


My phone rang, head beating from partying last night. I 
answered the phone. "Hello?" a loud voice spoke into the 
phone, making my head ache worse than it already was. 
"Leonard, get your lazy butt up. It's Monday. Work day." 
"Ahhh! Alan, it's early and the rooster isn't even up yet 
waking me up." Alan seemed demented as he spoke into 
the phone. "Then don't work on the graveyard shift then." 
I was aggravated by his remark. 

Alan and I were best friends since middle school. We 
both grew up in Oakland, California, messed with the same 
type of people, and had more than a lot in common. 

"Alan, you know I can't wake up right now, I have a 
hang over." "Don't care." Alan responded "You promised 
you would drive to school." 

"The hell I did, well I did, but I didn't agree to wake up 
at six a.m." 

Alan laughed and said. "Well you should be careful on 
what you bet on." I laughed but questioned. 

So that's the moral to this story. 

To be continued... 

From The Beat: This is great dialogue. 

-Young Voice, Alameda 

Look forward to reading more... 

First Tine, last liie 

I would never again post outside a house at 11pm - 12 at 
midnight, especially if we're all drinking, wearing bright 
colors and carrying guns because you draw attention. 
Most of the time it could be cops you attracting. 

Carrying a gun and drinking in public is something I 
would never want to do again. Being in here showed me 
to appreciate my family and freedom more. I plan on this 
being my first and last time in here. 

-Luna, San Francisco 

From the Beat: If you've really learned to value your family and freedom 
— two of the most precious possessions in the world — then maybe it 
was worth it for you to be here. Be careful, though. Its much easier 
to make promises when you're locked up than to keep those promises 
when you're free. 

To Be Happy 

One important change for me is getting out of jail, go 
back to school and get in to Fresno State and play football 
for them. 

I want to be happy with my family, loved ones, and my 
girl. I'm hoping to marry her one day, be happy with her 
and have kids--but that is the most important change that 
I'm going to do with my life when I get out. 

I'm going to think smarter and I'm going to look in to 
Fresno state. I'm going to look for a job to pay for college 
and my books. 

-Young BB, Alameda 

From The Beat: Good luck with these plans, they sound good. When you 
know what you want, its easier to focus and achieve your goals. 


Never Coming Back Again 


. and move on.. ..Don't 


One thing that I've done before that I'm neva gon' do 
again is come back here! I'ma do whateva it takes to stay 
out of trouble and not come back in the halls again. I'ma 
follow instructions and make good decisions in order to 
stay out! 

-Chuy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We admire your decision never to come back, but we've 
seen too many others making the same promise, but then we see them 
again. How will you make sure to keep your promise? 


7 nn 



She thought it was all fun and games... 
I thought she was the perfect one for me... 

She was in it for money and respect. . . 
I was in it for her loyalty and love... 

She always imitated someone else... 

I just wanted the one I first met when she was a 


She ended up laced up with fame and respect. . . 
I ended up with a lot of regret and a broken heart. . . 

She sees me and smiles with her head held high... 
I see her and I get a frown with a hanging head... 

-Luis, Solano 

From The Beat: Well this poem works whether you're writing about a 
relationship with someone else, or with both sides of yourself. Maybe 
one day you can build a relationship that is not so extreme, but lasts. 

She was In It for money and respect, , , 
I was In It for her loyalty and love,,, 

Traer Un Bebe Al Mundo 

Hola me llamo Adriana y tengo 17 afios. Les voy a hablar 
de mi. Yo me embarace cuando tenia 15 afios. Pense que 
al traer un bebe al mundo iba a ser facil. La verdad es 
que no es nada facil porque tener un hijo tienes muchas 
responsabilidades . 

Cuando yo tube a mi hijo, su padre estubo ahi 
conmigo. El era el linico que estubo ahi para apoyarme en 
los momentos mas dificiles de mi vida. La verdad es que 
mi familia me dio la espalda cuando mas lo necesitaba. 

Gracias a Dios tengo a un hombre tan maravilloso 
que es mi novio, que siempre estubo ahi cuando mas lo 

Mi consejo para ustedes es que tengan cuidado al 
embarazarse porque no es facil traer un bebe al mundo. 

From The Beat: Gracias por tu consejo. Esperamos que tu mensaje ayude 
a otros. iSabias cuantos hombres irresponsables han abandonado a sus 
hijos y a las madres de los hijos? Muchos! Tienes una gran suerte de 
tener a este hombre a tu lado. Este si que es un HOMBRE. Deberfas de 
estar junto a el apoyandolo tambien como cuando te apoyo. 

To Bring A Kid Into The World 

Hi, my name is Adriana and I am 17 years old. I'm going to 
write about me. I thought being a kid into the world was 
going to be easy. The truth is that it isn't easy because to 
have a kid comes with a lot of responsibility. 

When I had a kid, his father was there with me. He was 
the only one there supporting me at all hard moments of 
my life. And to be honest, my family turned their back on 
me when I needed them the most. 

Thank God I have a wonderful man who is my 
boyfriend, and who was always there when I needed. 

My advice to you is to be careful when getting pregnant 
because it's really hard to bring a kid into the world. 

-Adriana, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thank you for your advice. We hope your message helps 
others. Do you know how many irresponsible fathers have abandoned 
their kids and baby's mothers? Many! You are very luck to have your man 
by your side. He is a good and reasponsible MAN. You should be home 
with him taking care of each other. What's your plan upon getting out? 



El Apoyo De Mis Padres 


Pues voy a escribir aserca de embarazo de jovenes. Un 
dia yo embarace a mi novia, y estaba muy jovencito. No 
sabia que hacer y me daba miedo porque no sabia como 
decirles a mis padres que tenia a una novia embarazada. 
Yo pensaba que no me iban a apoyar. 

Mi novia les dijo a mis padres que estaba esperando 
un bebe mio y cuando llegue a la casa, mis padres estaban 
sentados en la salay me dijeron, "sientate hijo, queremos 
hablar contigo." Me dijeron que ya sabian que tenia una 
novia embarazada y me dijeron, "hijo, no te preocupes, 
vas a tener todo nuestro apoyo. 

Ese fue un dia muy importante, esperar a mi nifia. 
Todo el apoyo de la familia es muy importante. Tambien 
estoy orgulloso de ser padre de una nifia tan bonita que 
cambio mi vida, mi linda Samantha. 

From The Beat: Que bueno es tener el apoyo de la familia. Tener un hijo 
es una gran bendicion, y tambien una gran responsabilidad. No tomes 
aventajas de la ayuda de tus padres. Ese es tu hija y tu eres el padre. 
Es hora que te comportes como debes de hacerlo, como un padre. Ellos 
necesitan de tu ayuda aunque tengan el apoyo de tu familia. No se te 

The Sopport Of My Parents 

Well, I'm going to write about teen's pregnancy. One time 
I got my girl pregnant, and I was very young. I didn't know 
what to d and I was scare to tell my parents I had a girl 
pregnant. I thought that they weren't going to help me. 

My girl told my parents she was waiting for a kid of 
mine and when I got home, my parents were sitting down 
waiting in the living room, and told me, "sit down my son, 
we want to talk to you." They told that they knew about 
I had a girl pregnant and told me, "son, don't worry, you 
will have our support. 

That was a very important day, to wait for my daughter. 
The entire support from the family is very important. I'm 
also proud of being the father of a beautiful little girl that 
changed my life, my beauty Samantha. 

-Alberto, Fresno 

From The Beat: Its good to have the support of the family. To have a kid 
is a blessing, and a lot of responsibility. Don't take advantage of their 
support. She's your daughter and you're her father. Its time you start 
acting like you're supposed to, like a father. Your child(ren) also need(s) 
your support even if they have your family's support. Don't forget i 

f tneir 
i start 

Important Change 

Yeah, the click is young hittaz 

But if I keep bangin' da squad Fma stay in this court 


As the streets I keep rippin' runnin' wild just do my own 


Stayin' in handcuffs smoking dro' I gotta make a change 

Or continue feelin' pain as I sit up in my cell 

Thinking to myself what the hell I'm really in jail 

What's next 

Media keep playin stuff that relate to me drugs and sex 

And lets not talk about gangs 'cause gangs the one that's 

got me in the game 

Just tryna make a name 

It ain't the spirit ... this life I keep livin' 

As I call myself a man just cuz I got two children 

It's a God's given but I'm takin' it for granted 

As I live for the present and the future , I don't plan it 

-Doug E Fresh, Alameda 

From The Beat: Wonderful as always - and the best thing is that we 
know that in real life you are the opposite of this - one of the most 
positive and determined writers we've been blessed to publish in a long 
Keep writing to us from the Y, we're waiting for your first BWO 



EmnnnnE Mfwimm 


Never Go There Again 

There was a trash's and bashed tower called the Cargill 
San Joaquin elevator where we used to kick back. There 
were a lot of pigeons and we used to throw rocks at them. 
One of my friends throws a rock and broke a car's window. 
I will never go there, never again. 


From The Beat: Sounds like a nice place to hang out, but not to be 
throwing rocks. You can hang out anywhere, just stay away from 
"rocks." Rocks can cause damage and serious accidents. 

Never Again Coining Back 

Never again will I walk through the halls of JJC. It hurts 
me because I'm not the only one who is feeling pain. My 
mom, dad, and brothers are feeling pain for me. Every 
time I think of my family or girlfriend. I think about my 
mistakes that put me in this place. Every time I get a 
new letter from my family or girlfriend it weakens me in 
a way I've never been weakened before. It hurts to hear 
that they are feeling pain and they're not the one's who 
committed the crime. 

I'm hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally for the 
crime I committed. I regret every moment of it and which 
I could have took it back but it's too late. But, it's never 
too late to forgive yourself and start over, no matter how 
far behind you are you can always turn back and make 
something of yourself. 

When I get out of J.J. C. I'm going to make my parents 
happy like they were before I got in here. I'm not going 
to take anything for granted. All the times I could have 
been with my girlfriend I was out with my friends getting 
drunk or smoking. She is showing me so much support 
and my love for her grows stronger everyday. So when I 
get out I'm going to be with her as much as I can and not 
leave her for my friends. 

I loved my life when I was on the outs being a normal 
kid playing football, skating with the homies and most 
important sharing all the good times I had. 

Never again will I walk the halls of J.J. C. 

One more thing I love you Stephanie Lynn with all 
my heart I have so much trust in her and that's how our 
relationship get's stronger everyday. Nothing comes 
between us. 


From The Beat: Marcos you have already started on your road to 
success continue staying focused on your goals. Please center around 
your family, education and sports. Stay away from distractions like 
being out with friends who like to get drunk and smoke. As you start 
reaching your goals some of your pain will go away. 


The Time Everything Went Bad 

When I was ten, going on eleven I got adopted by my 
great-grandmother. She adopted me from Tulare County 
Juvenile hall. Anyway we got home and I seen my big 
brother for the first time in four years. I was in Reedley 

My brother was an active Reedley gang member. He 
had took me to the park and showed me around. Next, he 
asked me if I wanted to go to a gang meeting. I thought for 
a minute and said yes. That day I made a stupid decision 
and took a puff of some weed. Too tell you the truth I 
liked it very much. Two months later I got the nickname 
"Bones." Finally I got jumped in. I regret it but I did it for 
a reason. That's my story. 


From The Beat: Sometimes being around a certain environment pulls 
you into the temptations of the gang life. Being around the gang life 
also involves the use of drugs. Look into different hobbies, sports, and/ 
or clubs to keep you busy and away from the streets. 

Free Writing 

What do I think about alcohol...? I think alcohol 
addiction is very bad because it leaves people in the 
streets or it makes them put other lives in danger. I also 
think alcohol's bad because it makes innocent people 
into criminals. That's why liquor stores should stop 
selling liquor and beer. 


From The Beat: Thank you for your thoughts. We are amazed how often 
alcohol and getting in trouble seem to go together. 

A Place 

A place or establishment for teaching and learning. A 
faculty or division of an institution of higher learning 
devoted to teaching. Study and research in a particular 
field of knowledge sucks. 


From The Beat: Why do you think school sucks? What about it? Is the 
learning hard? Or the teachers mean? Or the students too competitive? 
We hope you find a way to like school and get your degree. 

How Can I Trust 

J L 

When you going in the Hall. How can you trust your 
girlfriend on the outside? Just by knowing what you 
know about her for the time you've been together. Is that 
enough, since you never been locked up and your girl has 
never been with you in that situation before. 

On the outside she be telling you she loves you like 
a thousand times, saying she gonna be with you forever 
and be there for you always no matter what. Or maybe 
by the things you've been through together whether it be 
sexual relations or other stuff. How can you trust her? 
By believing her while you locked up maybe, but then you 
worry she might go out and start messing around with 
someone just because you locked up in the Hall. How 
can you trust her being out there and you in here? 

Thinking all day about her in this bottom tier, for it's 
been a year with you and her. How can you trust? 


From The Beat: You gotta give trust to get trust. Are you with a person 
that can't be trusted? Do you want to base your relationship on mistrust? 
I've been there before. Love can be blind and you accept these character 
flaws by staying in the relationship but, in the end, that is your choice. 
The other situation is: it's your partner that can be trusted, but you are 
a mistrusting person (jealous). This can be a problem that some people 
get stuck on, even into adulthood and this tends to ruin relationships. 
So, perhaps it's time to reflect and see what the real issues are. 



Dear Mama 

Dear mama, I know that I hurt you in many ways. But 
only if you knew that I love you more times that I've hurt 
you. Believe it or not it sucks because you are not here 
for me to explain to you. I have hurt you but I have also 
hurt myself killing my body slowly. But I'm glad that I still 
have you by my side, you have stuck with me through 
thick and thin. 

I thank you mom, 'cause without you I wouldn't know 
if I could survive this journey some call life. There are no 
more words that can be said besides I love you with all my 
heart and soul and I hate to know that I'm helping kill my 
dear mama. Sorry mama. 

-Mama's Baby 

From The Beat: We hurt our moms because we hurt ourselves, but that 
doesn't stop them from loving us still. Your mom knows you're sorry 
Mama's baby, but how will you show her? 

Change My Life 

I want to talk about changing my life because I made a 
lot of mistakes. I'm going to change my life because I'm 
tired of all the drama that I get into and robbing people, 
stealing, gang banging. I won't be coming back in here 
because I learned my lesson when I was in here. 


From The Beat: Carlos, we're happy to hear you have decided to change 
your life. There is always time to make yourself a better person. What 
would you like to do in the future? What would you tell others who 
are starting to get into trouble to make sure they don't make similar 

The Inequality of Women 

I think women should be able to do just about anything, 
like men. Women should be able to do anything because 
sometimes women might be able to do things better than 
men in some sections of life. 

I also think women should be able to do the same 
things as men because there is no law that says women 
can't do the same things as men. 

The last reason I think women should be able do just 
about anything like men is that sometimes women can be 
smarter than men and can do better things than men. 

That's why I think women should be treated equally 
the same as men and there shouldn't be any reason why 
women can't do things that men do around the world. 


From The Beat: It is important that people are treated fairly no matter 
their gender. This is not something that people always do well, so how 
do you make sure to treat people fairly? Also, what has made you realize 
that men and women should be given equal opportunities? 

Like God Says 


I wish I could be with my family. I love them in the name 
of God and I feel bad because of what I have done in the 
past. I got in a fight with my brother, now I want to go 
home and love my family with all my heart in the name of 
God and be with my friends and I hope the girls from the 
JJC go home and be happy with their families too. Like 
God says, be lovely, respectful, and first of all be happy. I I 
just want to thank the staff and the girls, and especially 
God for everything he has done. 

And thank The Beat and all of the beautiful ladies. 
Good luck and be happy and I love you beautiful ladies, 
and God bless you ladies today, tomorrow, and always. 

- Cynthia 

From The Beat: We admire your faith Cynthia, keep your head up. 

What I Want To Change 

Hi my name is Evelia and the thing I would like to 
change is all the arguing with my mom. Well, let me tell 
you what we argued about. I'm 17 years old and I just had 
a baby. While I was in the hospital my mom wanted me to 
go home after I got out but I didn't want to. I wanted to go 
to my boyfriend's house to play the good family roll, but 
that did not happen because my mom called the cops and 
told them that I ran away from home but really I didn't, I 
just ran away from the hospital. 

I The cops went to my boyfriend's house and they were 

looking for me but I was not there I was somewhere else. 
But I found out that my mom had called the cops so I 

I went home. 
When I got home I asked my mom why she called the 
cops and she told me that she just wanted me home. Well, 
I didn't want to hear nothing she had to say, I just started 
calling her all kinds of bad names. Now if I could change 
what happened that day I should have just gone home. 
And as for the arguing I can't change that it will happen 
when it happens. 


From The Beat: Thank you for sharing, and for being honest with 
yourself about the things you can or can not change in your life. 

I'll Never Trust 

One thing will never do again is to trust my own mother. 
I trusted her once in my life, and she hurt me so bad I 
could never trust her or anyone who reminds me of her 
ever again. The reason for that is because ever since I was 
three years old to when I turned ten years old she abused 
me: physically, emotionally, and mentally. The story, "A 
child called it," wouldn't even come close to what I went 

I through. 
It's funny when I hear people talk about their moms 
like they are superwomen. It makes me angry, and sad at 
the same time, because it makes me wonder what I did to 
deserve what she did to me. 

She's the reason why I lost my trust in a lot of people 
or I don't even start to trust them at all. But some of you 
guys that do have great moms out there, I ask you to 
treasure them, because you are very lucky to have them. 

- Dilly 

From The Beat: We are sorry that important people in your life have let 
you down like this. Know that you deserve respect Dilly, and there is no 
problem demanding it if you are also willing to give it out too. Thanks. 



J L 

There is one I would like to make, and it is with my 
family and even myself. Something I would like to change 
with my family is that I wish we were a lot closer. We're 
close now but there's always that feeling that it could be 

Something I would change about myself is that I wish 
I could think about what I'm doing before I do it. I always 
end up doing something bad and not thinking about the 
consequences. If I think about what I'm going to do, then 
maybe I wouldn't get in so much trouble. I just hope that 
everything with my family will get better and that I'll make 
better decisions. 


From The Beat: Family is a very important thing, and they can help you 
through difficult times. It sounds like you have been able to get closer 
to them through your time at the JJC, but what can you do to make your 
family even closer? People make mistakes, but it is important to stay 
out of situations that can lead to trouble. What are other ways that you 
will try to keep connected to your family? 



I Am The One And The Onl 

What's good The Beat? As for me, the same old shhh in 
the same dang toilet, spending most of my time in a cell 
in the JJC. I am the one and the only but never lonely 
Vennus but that's not what I'm known as. They call me 
"loveless" because homies say that I am heartless, cold 
hearted, and don't give a flying frick about shhh! But the 
truth is, I don't know if it is just plain out hate anymore. 
When I got jumped in my set, that's how and who I was. 
At times homies did not know who I really was or what I 
was thinking, I never showed my emotions or tears never 
came down my face. It felt like a weakness to show my 

Now that I have plenty of time to think in my lil' room 
I wonder who I want to be and who the real Vennus is,. 

I see who my brother has become being a gang 
member, he ain't getting' nowhere in life, I always think, 
is this who I really want to become? 

The thing is I'm down for my set and ain't no drop 
out, I see it as in all of you dropouts couldn't handle the 
gang life! Most of the time I think I'm just saying all this 
bullshhh because I'm here. And most of the time I am 
right. Yes, I don't show no sorrow or pity for anyone, but 
when I'm around those who make me happy or busting 
a mission, I got all the love to go around. But you know, 
this is one thing I live by " Only God can judge me" and I 
guess I need to figure out who I really want to be! 

Well to all, peace and love and 'till next time The Beat, 
maybe I'll figure out who I want to become. 


From The Beat: We recognize (and hope that you do too) that part of 
figuring out who we are is by admitting that we don't know who we are 
now, so how can we know who we want to be next? Maybe you could 
ask yourself who you don't want to be, and look real hard at how they 
became that person. In the search for those things we want, we find it 
by narrowing out those things we don't, so all we want is what's left. 
Let us know what's next. 

M] Angel lafj 


My angel lady is the one for me. I've been blessed from 
God. To me, she completes my life. Without her, there is 
no me. My knees get weak when she touches me. I love 
my angel lady with all my heart. She brings me needed joy 
when she's in my arms. When I'm stressing and in pain, 
she knows how to make feel real great. 

Once I get out, I'm going to show my angel lady that 
she's the one for me. I love my angel lady Crystal baby. 


From The Beat: It sounds like she means a lot to you. Have you let her 
know she means so much to you? Send her a letter and let her know. 
You should always take the opportunity to let people in your life know 
how much they mean to you. What choices will you make in the future 
to ensure you are not separated from those you care about? 

A Poem 


What goes up must come down. 

I had my fun. 

I was way up high, For a while. 

But like I said, what goes up 

Must come down. 

In a cell, crying myself to sleep 

Every time I get up there 

I fall back down again 

It's a never ending cycle 

Because what goes up must come back down. 


From The Beat: Thanks for sharing Kristina. We all ask ourselves if the 
things we do are worth the result. We wish you luck in finding that out 
for yourself. Keep us posted and take care. 

The Truth 


The Truth about hell and heaven. Hell, is Satan is the 
ruler. What hell is all about is for example, your fear is 
fire, you are covered in fire for eternity that's hell. Hell is 
not a good place to be. Heaven is where god is god is the 
ruler of heaven, heaven is unthinkable until you die. 


From The Beat: Tell us more about your relationship with God, and what 
makes you a believer. 

Around the Corner 

Around the corner I see a hurt women hurting and 
learning from her past experiences. Showing her kids the 
scrapbook she made when she first came to Juve. 

Telling outrageous stories about how the girls and 
inmates acted in there. 

Explaining that respect is respect yourself before you 
can earn it or dish it out. 

Expressing her deepest grief over her loved ones and 

I see a woman coming from a distant and dysfunctional 
family blossoming into a great legal secretary, forgiving, 
loving, being open hearted, humble, going to church. 

I That's it for The Beat. Until next week. Peace. 

- Precious 

From The Beat: We hope good things are around your corner, powerful 
piece of writing! 

One Important Change 

I want to get off probation and stop getting into arguments 
with my mom. Me and mom never had a good relationship. 
Me and my mom get in arguments sometimes for no 

I've been on probation for three years. I could have 
been off of probation two times. 

I've been locked up 5 times. All of the 5 times I've 
been locked up for violations. 

Well all I got to say is I'm living the daily crazy life. 

-Mom's Son 

From The Beat: We appreciate your reflections. We realize it can sometimes 
be very hard with parents and we hope you can smooth things out with 
your mother. Also, we hope when you get out this time you don't violate 
your probation. What's your plan for making that happen? 


Never Ayain 

There are a lot of things that I have done and I will never 
do them again. Even though most of those things I've 
done more than once but I know I will never do them 
again. All of those things were mistakes and now that I 
realized that, that's the reason I choose to never do them 
again. I also know that a mistake is another chance to do 
better. It took me a very long time to learn what a mistake 
was and that is something I never want to do again. 

I know I am the only one that can control my life, 
actions, feelings, but sometimes I let the worst get the 
best of me and do something that I know I will regret in the 
future. And I always really regret something when I know 
I had control over it the whole time. But all it was, was a 
mistake, and the whole time I'm suffering for my mistake, 
I'm hoping and praying to God that I have another chance 
to do better and I promise that I will never do it again. 


From The Beat: Your God will give you the strength to accept those 
things you can not change, and change those things that you can Debra. 
Good luck and thanks for sharing. 


&MnnnnnE M/JMMMm 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* // 

Never Again 

Never again will I attempt to let my pride get in the way 
of my life. Pride is a very powerful thing that will dig 
you a whole so deep that it will be too hard to g et out. 
The opposite of pride is humbleness or humility. I have 
learned that from being here. That's actually the attitude 
that got me here and that is something I will never let 
happen again. You know they say never say never but I 
really mean never. 


From The Beat: We recognize that pride is not always a bad thing, 
its just learning when to have pride and when to show humility that 
teaches us how to mean never after we say it. 



Sobriety helps you to not act dumb or falling on the 
ground drunk, and staying up in the nighttime. Sobriety 
helped me not to do the same mistakes my dad used to 
do. And somehow we used to be a lot alike, kicking staff 
and stuff. And tripping out on the ceilings, and stuff like 


From The Beat: Good luck with staying sober on the outs. We know its 
not easy, but its worth the struggle. 

Me in JJC. It Sucks 

Yo what's up Beat? Are you there? 

I'm in here and I'm still going to court 
but I want to get out 'cause my girl's pregnant 
and that's all I think about. 
All the time, when I got to sleep 

I dream about her and that I'm in the house 
with my family and when I wake up 
my eyes barely open and I think to myself, 
"Man! Why isn't my girl hugging me 

and I turn around 'cause I think I'm home. 
Then I get mad because I realize I'm not at home. 
I'm in this dump and I don't wanna come back here. 

I just want leave because I want to be there 
when my kid is born and I might get a year. 
My mom is in Mexico and I haven't seen her 
in like 2 or 3 months. I was going to go see her 
then I got locked up so I'm all messed up right now. But 
now there collecting papers out I'm out. Gone! 


From The Beat: We realize how hard it must be for you to be away from 
your girl. Hopefully you get out soon and get and back home, handle 
your business, get off probation and never see the inside of the JJC 

Tripping Over Time 


why we try to stay away from it. Congratulations in not drinking in 9 
months. That's impressive. You should be proud of yourself. One day at 
a time!! 

What's up Beat? Well as for me just right here in JJC, 
trying to stave it out cause I'm tripping over time, time, all 
the time they gave me. 

Yeah, I really wish that I didn't start drinking 'cause 
when I'm drunk I don't even know what I am doing. I get 
out of hand and I would do something stupid. That's why 
I regret starting drinking cause I really think it's bad to 
drink and I haven't been drinking in 9 months. 

The first time I got drunk I wanted to pick a fight with 
my friend but they stopped me. 


From The Beat: Yeah we all make bad decisions when we drink that's 

Kickin' Back 


Kickin' back with my homeboy's 

Smokin' some weed 

Twenty dollars of bud 

Was all we need. 

In one of my hands 

Was a shot of Bacardi 151 

I'll start smokin' 

When the shot is done 

A Marlboro is what 

I like to smoke 

When I started 

It made me choke 

Once I get high 

I start to feel funny 

Then I buy more 

With a lot more money 

Once I go home 

I take a shower 

Then I sleep 

Within one hour 

(Don't drink or smoke, you'll be poor) 


From The Beat: Every decision has consequences. What other ways can 
you have fun and stay out of trouble? Having no money is never fun. 
What will you do in the future to make sure you have enough money to 
eat and live - and stay out of Juvy? 

Ill Do Good 

I come from a place where everybody's gangsta. I know 
I we can't write about our affiliation in The Beat so I'm 
going to change the subject. 

I got committed today. I'm going to be doing another 
term in here. 

Hopefully, when I get out, I'll do good and don't come 
back. I love my friends but that's trouble. I just ain't seem 
to let go. I also like getting money but I know that's what 
gets me in trouble. 

I That's it for now. Later Beat. 


From The Beat: Sometimes we need to look at our relationships and 
examine what is helping and what is hurting. We hope you do good too 
when you get out. 


JJC Ain't No Place To Be 

J L 

The thing I only did once is come to the hall and I don't 
want to come back because this ain't the place for a 
young man like me. I am supposed to be in someone's 
schoolhouse somewhere, getting an education. 

I think if I got another chance, I would do right so 
I can go home. I have a set of twins to go home to, one 
boy and one girl. I don't want to let my son see me going 
through this because he might think that this is the way 
to go and it ain't because you don't have another chance 
after your first time in here. You are labeled by a number 
and that's not cool. 

For all you young guys out there that haven't been 
to JJC, you don't want to come to this place. The food is 
wack, and people tell you what to do, when to sleep, when 
to wake up, and how to wear your clothes. So take it from 
me, someone who has been in here, live your life right or 
else you will be in here with me. 


From The Beat: As a parent, it is important to be a good example to 
your children and share with them the lessons you have learned. With 
your writing, you are already sharing with others the lessons you have 
learned in your experience at JJC. When you get out, how will you be a 
model for your children to follow? 


&znnnnnE MMMwm 


I've Learned My Lesson 

If none of this would have ever happened I wouldn't be 
here I would be at home taking care of my kid. I totally 
regret what I did. I would never ever in my life come back 
to the JJC and I know I've learned my lesson all I want to 
do right now is do my time and get it over with. 

All I have to tell those others of you that are in here is 
don't do the crime and you won't do the time. 


From The Beat: We know how hard it can be to live by this philosophy. 
Your honesty is a sign of your strength. Keep the faith! 

Cheating On My Girl 


I will never again cheat on my girl. It happened once. All 
it brought was pain and misery for seven years. Thinking 
back to that one night, I never thought those three years 
we were together that I would mess up it for a one night 
stand that wasn't even good. I will never do it again. It has 
to be more than a one night stand if I'm going to cheat. 


From The Beat: Turn your mistake into a more positive situation. What 
can you learn from the mistake you made? It sounds like people have 
been hurt by the decision you made. If you haven't already, apologizing 
to that person can help you move forward into a healthy relationship. 

My Two Girls. 

Damn girl, I be stressing. You would think I learned my 
lesson but nah girl I'm keeping you guessing. Let me 
teach you a lesson. 

About year and a half ago I met you girl. You brought 
tension to my world and now we got a little girl. And you 
and her is all I think about when I'm trapped between 
these walls. 

Now I'm sitting here thinking why I have to have balls. 
I should have known. Pride will get you nowhere when 
you're locked down and surrounded by squares. But eff 
it because I'm so sick. I love you girl and Juliana. 

-One Guy 

From The Beat: That's beautiful to love someone and you have twice as 
much to be grateful for. We hope your thoughts are strong and good 
and you can return to your loved ones sooner than later. Get legit!! Get 
busy and start living right and stay free! 

You Live and Learn 


Never again will I not listen to my mom. Everything she 
says has been right. Since day one, everything she said 
happened to me. That's why I listen to her now. 

But if I could I would change everything. It's too late 
to turn back. I guess you live and learn. 

I should have just stayed home. I would never be here. 
I would be at home waiting for my son to be born into this 
world. But the beer took a toll on me. 


From The Beat: It can be hard to hear from others that you are not right. 
It takes a lot of strength to share that about yourself. As a parent, 
how will you be a role model for your son, and will you share your 
knowledge with him when he gets older? 

Lite is Riuih 


Man, life is rough. When you got it hard, game banging 
and stuff like that. If you know what you're doing and how 
to do it, you won't fail at it. All I can say is, do your best. 


From The Beat: Gang banging is not the way to go, whether someone 
is "good or bad at it," does not create good, solid men. 

Never Again Will I Come Here 

Never again, will do what I did to come to the hall again. 
I messed up and my lord Jesus has given me a chance to 
make a change in my life. 

What I did was have a weapon and it was said that I 
was trying to stab a girl. But no one knew what I really 
had the knife for. It was for protection... where I grew up 
and still live, there are many different gangs who would 
mess with kids who were not in gangs. 

One time I was going for a walk, and as soon as I hit 
the corner a group of boys ran up on me. One of them 
told me "hey give me that cell phone." And ever since 
then I've walked around with a knife and never again I 
will walk with one because this is what happens. You're 
walking with a deadly weapon. 

-Walking Free 

From The Beat: This is such an important story to include in The Beat. 
Carrying a weapon puts you in a lot of danger.. .more than i 
you, it can make you do things you regret. Keep writing, you « 

teacher in The Beat. 

i it protects 
i are a great 


J L 

Just a Quickie 

Second after second 

Minute after minute 

My day means nothing without you in it. 

I reminisce all day about the times we had 

I'm sorry for messing things up trying to be bad 

I want you to know 

You mean the world to me 

If love was one thing 

You'd be my everything. 


From The Beat: What a beautiful poem! We hope you are reunited with 
your loved one soon. 

The True Meaning of Hyphy and Turfing 

See where I'm from which is Walnut Creek and Oakland, 
the words 'hyphy' and 'turfing' mean something way 
different than what people think like in the music. 

Bay Area rappers define the words as a type of dancing 
style with the crazy style of clothing and the dreadlocks 

I but I'm gonna give you the true meaning of these words. 
First off when you are getting 'hyphy' means destroy, 
destroy, destroy and fight like getting very mad and taking 
your anger out on the first thing or person you see. 
Sometimes it leads to people dying. Most people that 
get hyphy are on some type of drugs we call thizz pills. 
Others are known as X pills or E pills. 

I Second off turfing where I'm from we don't gang bang, 

we turf. Your turf is where you make your money. Most 
people sell drugs. On your turf the number one rule is 
no snitching aka telling cops info about what's going 
I on. This can lead to instant death. There's lots going 
on on your turf. People make money by pimping aka 
prostitution where girls sell their body. Turfs also beef 
when one turf starts taking customers from another that 
starts a problem. People get killed like that. 

I The most important thing I know is that the people 

on your turf is like your family and most of the people 
on a turf know each other and the whole family. They go 
by blood lines and last names. That's how they can tell if 
your from their turf like me. 


From The Beat: Everyone understands the need to make money and you 
did a good job of explaining the complexities and dangers of working 
the turf. Always remember there are other people out there making lots 
of money who don't live with the daily threat of being snitched on or 
arrested. We wish you the best. 

' SEnnnasB mmamm 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* » 

What To Do 

I'm Always Sorry 

A tear shed for one person but then many more shed for 

My name is Manuel. I have many brothers and sisters. 
Many come and go but your love ones stay forever. 

Many can relate out there when your family was going 
into a struggle, of paying bills, going back to school, from 
kids here and there to everywhere. 

I'm 17 years old and I have a lot of strong and positive 
thinking on what I'm going to do when I get out of JJC. 

Hopefully my mom won't cry when I leave the house. 
Be a young man. Grow up and don't need to worry about 
anybody to boss me around. But where to work? 


From The Beat: That's great that you're thinking in positive ways about 
what you will do when you get out of JJC. Plan your life and work your 
plan. That's wonderful you have such a large loving and supportive 
family. We hope you can find your own place and get a job and be 
independent when you are ready. 

The Beat Within My Heart 

Well first off what's really good, Beat. My story is I am 
a young black brother and I live on these hard knock 
streets trying to find myself, the real me. Is that I stay all 
night smoking weed not coming home always looking for 
ways to get money and always robbing people, my mom 
always worries about me so how can I show my mom that 
I love her but when I don't show it. 

Over all I need to start thinking about what I need to 
start doing when I get out of JJC and live my life the right 
way because I have a lot to loose and I have a little brother 
that look up to me. 

Hard for a black man. On the real it's hard out here for 
a black man from the beginning of time but all I can do is 
live life, this Fresno life other wise I would be in jail. All I 
think about is what can I do to change my plans because 
to tell you the truth my best thinking got me put in here 
hanging out with the wrong people because I don't have 
no friends and that's real. So that's just a taste of my life 
and that's about it. 


From The Beat: We are glad that you are thinking about another 
direction when you get released. All of the things you mentioned are a 
sure way back to jail. Please think about finding positive role models 
or good energy and you must be firm as to not sway to your old ways. 
You are right; you are making a path for your little brother so you are 
responsible for being a good role model. We would like to encourage 
you on investing your time and motivation in an education. 

Me With Out My Love 

When I'm stuck in this place all I can think about is 
her. Day and night thinking who she is with? I miss her. 
I wish I was just looking at her pretty face. I love her. 
Delmy is her name, my girl, man she is my world! 

I wonder if she thinks of me as much as I think of her! 
Why can't I stop thinking of my baby? Maybe because 
she's my world! So cold and lonely without her warm 
arms wrapped around my neck, can't wait till I'm out just 
to be with her again. It sucks when you can't see or be 
with the one you love. So what I'm trying to say is I love 
you, Delmy. I want the whole world to know. Delmy, you 
are my world!!! And I promise you Baby, I'll never leave 
you again. Love you and good bye. 


From The Beat: Love is fun, its fresh, and its great to love and to be 
loved; just remember that when you come down from the clouds that 
you make wise choices. Its best to have open conversations with Delmy 
about your values and her values and respect those. You want to have a 
sure footing on the ground before you make some unforeseen mistakes, 
like getting pregnant too young. 


I'm always saying sorry. So, I'm going to say it again. I'm 
sorry for hurting my mom, my girlfriend, and my family. 

Sorry don't do the things I did. Sorry don't sell drugs. 
It's all on me, I did. Sorry don't make up for doing them 
neither. Sorry won't get me out of here and sorry didn't 
put me in here. I did, but for that I tell my mom, girlfriend 
and family. 

I'm sorry and can't wait to get out, so I don't have two 
say sorry no more. All I will say is, "I LOVE YOU". 

- Sorry & Toxic 

From The Beat: Sorry is a good first step. Now you are ready to move 
on. Not necessarily forgetting and erasing the past, because people 
learn from their mistakes and its an opportunity for building character. 
The second step is to prove your integrity by your actions, 
actions are good, in time people like your girlfriend or mom will 
doubt you and most importantly you wouldn't doubt yourself. 


J L 

A New Me 


If your 

will not 


I will never ever say bad words to my parents, sister, 
and brother. Also I will never ever smoke, and drink. I 
will never ever cover my ears at my parents, aunties and 
uncles again. I will never ever try to kill myself again. I 
will change my attitude. 


From The Beat: Smoking and drinking will only cause trouble. Your 
parents and family members are just trying to give you advice. Stay 
strong and motivated to do well and change your attitude. 


My Life Locked Up 

My world is small, short and scary when I'm locked up. 

When I'm in the rooms I feel sad because I think about 
my mom. 
I hope that she comes see me. 

But it's not all bad because she could come and see me 

But it makes me really sad when I pull out the pictures, 
and then I realize that I will see them. Also I miss my 
sister and my friends. 

But most of the time I feel small because of my height. 

But it's not all bad because it's fun being small. 

Also I feel scared because of people and things that 
happened "fights." 

I got scared when I got mace because it burned, I felt like 
I was going blind or going to die. 

But I got passed it and my behavior has been better. 
Also the food is not good, but its food and at least we get 
to play. 
That's my life locked up. 


From The Beat: Being locked up can be scary and intimidating. We see 
your changing your behavior for the better "good job." Being away 
from family members can be difficult, sometimes visits aren't enough 
time to spend with loved ones. Stay positive and continue to do good 

Never Again 

One thing I plan to never want to do again is to commit a 
crime and come back to juvenile justice campus. Once I 
first came to juvenile my mind went blank and I thought 
I should never come here again. Committing crimes will 
never take you anywhere in life. One thing I learned is to 
respect someone as much as I respect myself. 


From The Beat: Going to the hall for the first time can be scary. For 
some it only takes one trip to the hall for them to change. You're right 
committing crimes does not take you anywhere but, the hall. Stay 
focused and always remember that change is possible. 


EmnnnnE wfMfmm 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* " 

One Important Change 

Time Before You Act 


One important change in life is doing the main things you 
will need for the rest of your life. That is never disrespect 
your family. I have seen people turn over and left them 
cold like a bum. Why that happens I don't know. 

I have more than one important change in life but 
don't have much time to make these changes. 


From The Beat: We agree Richard that is important to value family. We 
also agree that we have to make the changes in how we think and act 
for today in order to change our lives tomorrow. We commend your 
willingness. Thank you. 

Ten Thousand Cries 


Ten thousand cries fill the air 
Came out the room and mom was not there 
I felt confused, but mostly scared. 
That's when ten thousand cries filled the air 
I didn't eat or brush my hair. 
Looking at her friend's my eyes start to blair. 
That's when ten thousand cries filled the air. 
I was only six, this ain't fair. 
I wonder if she even cared. 

She should feel bad because my heart has a tear. 
That's when ten thousand eyes filled the air. 
When will she come back? 
How could she dare? 
For this pain I just couldn't bare. 
That's when no more cries filled the air. 


From The Beat: What a soulful poem to express in such a profound way. 
Thank you for sharing your most personal feelings with Ten Thousand 
Cries, by Thor. 

Well this yo' boy Josh, again. Well I'm stuck behind 
these walls again for six long months and I'm stressing 
so much because I'm missing my girlfriend by "Baby Girl 
Stephanie". When I think of her it's like I just walked in 
heaven, but in thought only. I met her at the Fresno Fair. 
I got with her on October 15, 2007. And I did her wrong; 
I left her for my ex-girl. Not knowing I was being loved by 
her. I realized that two months later and tried and tried 
to get her back and she took me back. 

Next month is a year I have been with her, on October 
15th. I love her to Death. Yes, boys have feelings too. I 
never do anything to wreck our relationship. 

I'm writing this note to every dude that has a girl, if 
you know you got something good don't mess it up for 
the next trick. This is real love. Believe it or not, and I 
am going to have a beautiful child with her. She will be my 
wife, no lie. 

When I get out and away from these walls I will and I 
am going to make her proud of me. I'm will give her and 
my child the best life ever. 

This yo boy Josh, everybody beyond these walls stay 
up and stay safe. Lord Jesus watch over my baby brother 
Bennie for me, make sure he don't do nothing stupid. 
Make sure you have your angels with him where ever he 
goes. And I'm out, I love you Stephanie, always Bye ya'll. 


From The Beat: You have lots of good news to share about your life with 
Stephanie and an expectant child. We hope that you do everything that 
is expected of you so you can get on with your life. We encourage you 
to continue your education so that you can get ahead and get a good 
job to support you family. 

I Hope To Do Something With My Life. 

I'm from Fresno, the biggest little city. I'm locked up 
in Juvenile Hall doing nine months for violating my 
probation. I've been here several times so I really didn't 
have to catch a case to get more the six months. 

The systems actually getting really weak. Back when 
I first started getting locked up, it was a lot crazier and a 
lot more real. Now there's a lot of fake people and a few 
people keeping it gangsta like it's supposed to be. 

I'm a gang member from Fresno and I'm still trying to 
figure out what decisions I really have to make to figure 
out what type of life I want to live. But right now I'm stuck. 
Whatever happens to my life will eventually be up to my 
decision and I hope to do something with my life. 


From The Beat: We hope you make the best decision for yourself. You're 
right, the decisions we make will determine our future. Start thinking, 
about how bad you want your freedom. 

Change \ 

I used to smoke a lot of pot, I really enjoyed it. But now 
since I'm in here I would want to change. So now I just 
want to go to school and just read and hang out with new 
people. Just enjoy life the right way not the bad way. 

Also spend a lot of time with my family, and have 
family night. And go to church on Sundays and bible 
studies on Tuesdays with friends. Well that's all 


From The Beat: Good, stay focused and determined to change. Stay in 
school and look into joining after school programs, and look in to new 
hobbies. Sometimes changing friends is important, but we know its 

The Life I Live 

Never again... will I come back to the hall. First of all 
'cause I'm almost eighteen and I'll start going county. But 
the important thing is the life I live. On the out's I have a 
good job, my own car, my own house, and my wife. 

All this is true, but being locked up ain't helping pay 
for my rent or my bills. Two months my wife was doing it 
by herself. I feel proud bout her but make's me regret of 
getting locked up cause I can imagine what she is going 
through. So, I plan on never again getting locked up. 
'Cause I know in the future I'm going to have a family and 
I wana be there for my kids. 

I would also want to be there for my wife right now 
but she knows how daddy does and make's it all up two 
her. I can't be getting locked up and loose my house or 
the life I live. So I rather be in the out's with my wife 
living the good life. So this is for real would be the first 
and the last time I ever get locked up. 


From The Beat: We believe that you realize your life is too precious to 
miss out with your family. This is a great lesson knowing you never 
want to return to Juvenile Hall. We hope you have a good life by being 
a good husband and father for your children. 


'k*J=M-MlkdJ MSWMMWm 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* // 

Maybe Never Again 

\ It's Good 

I'm not fina rob people no more because I'm tired of 
being in jail. I never got caught robbin' except for one time 
cause the dude ran and got away from us and snitched on 
us the next day at school. 

One time I was by myself I had no money or no place 
to go to but to my cousin's house so I snatched an old 
ladies stuff-she would not let go so I dragged her. I felt 
bad after 'cause she was old she might of got a heart 
attack or something , so I never rob old folks no more. 
From now on I'm only doing stuff if I'm gonna get a rack 
or higher cause I'm tired of going to jail for dumb stuff. 
That's my story why I won't rob nobody no more. 


From The Beat: We're glad you're thinking about what robbing is worth, 
and that you felt bad about robbing the woman and decided not to do 
that again. Compared to your freedom, and life, (and the well-being of 
others) a "rack" seems like "dumb stuff" too. 

Teen Pregnancy 

I think teenage pregnancy is a good thang because it 
shows young mothers and fathers how to grow up quickly. 
Like how they need to save their money for their kids. 
How they need to get a job to support their family. 

It's going to be hard in the beginning of the starting of 
their new family. They will need to learn how to not lean 
on other people, to have to get it on their own. So when I 
get out I'm a get everything pregnant. 


From The Beat: Having kids isn't a game, they're people and they suffer 
if you can't care for them. Read the whole Beat cover to cover and get 
back to us about your idea. 

If I Could 


If I could change anything it would be to not have drugs 
around. All they do is bring people down. If I could, I would 
stay sober. The drugs in the world only cause problems. 


From The Beat: Once you get involved with other things you'll be farther 
away from drugs.. .what do you like to do? Do you like any kind of art, 
or sports, or hobbies? 

Was Da lasiaass! 


Wus good Beat Beat, ionno what to write about so I just 
wanna give a shout to everyone. So to all my patnas, stay 
solid and keep your head up. Shouuu! Times are getting 


From The Beat: Hey Carlos nice to meet you. What's hectic about these 
times in your life? How are you? 

One Important Change 


If I could change one thing I would change up the court 
system. I would change it so that they could not bring 
you in until you were already found guilty at court. 

Because the way they got it you come in here and do 
all of dead time for no reason while you are fighting a case 
or waiting to get sentenced and you can beat your case 
and they let you out so you just did time for no reason 
and usually its months not weeks. 


From The Beat: Would you make this change for all offenses, or only 
some? What if people caught more charges while waiting outside for 
court? Do you think you will beat your case? 


Today I'm feeling good, got one more month to go in here 
with my cuddie so he's keeping me out of trouble. We 
both get out soon so its good we both are going to be on 
our game. My mobchyld a.k.a. Red is like family and I 
look up to him. So I got his back no matter what. 


From The Beat: We're glad you both went through this together so 
you can remind one another what's important. He can't keep you out 
of trouble though.. .he may try, but that's up to you D! Help each other 
stay free! 

Never Again 




Never again will I disrespect a female 

Never again will I be in a position to boil 

Never again will I do something stupid for fun 

Never again will I put all my trust in someone 

Never again will I call someone dumb 

Never again will I threaten 

Never again will I walk with a weapon 

Never again will I get locked up 

Never again will I say I don't give a heck 

Never again will I do drugs 

Never again will I hang with thugs 

Never again say sorry when I don't have good intentions 

Never again will I get any school suspensions 

Never again will I put on a front 

Never again would I put my lips to a blunt 

Never again will I make bad choices 

Never again will I ignore people's voices 

Never again put luxuries first before family 

Never again my parents say they can't stand me 

Never again will I shed a tear that has no feeling 

Never again will I deny spiritual healing 

Never again will I do drugs or dope 

Never again will I argue with my lady 

Never again will I disrespect my Baby. 

-The Pacific Islander 

From The Beat: This is a tall order, a promise list for yourself. Keep it 
in your pocket for those times that tempt or frustrate. Maybe you could 
write a companion piece about why it matters. 

I Waal la Gat lat 


I'm trying to go home and be with my family and go be 
with my girl. I just want to do my time and go home—I 
ain't trying to come back any more. When I get out I'm 
going to go to school and make money and stay out of 


From The Beat: That sounds like a good plan. Where are you going to 
school? Where would you like to work? Home Depot? A grocery store? 

Real Talk 

J L 

I will never again gang bang, it was not worth it. I learned 
my lesson. Man, to get out is hard, I never got out because 
it is hard, you got to do so much shhh. But what I started 
to do is try to stay away from all that shhh. 

Real talk man, where I'm from it is go down or throw 
it down 24/7. Real talk, you don't know what will happen, 
sometimes it will be cool and sometimes it will be ugly, 
real talk. When you are locked up it is a trip because man, 
you in here-you got to watch your back-in the outs too. 

-Lil Elfy 

From The Beat: It seems it would help to stay away from all of it, as far 
as possible. Is this your first piece where you didn't talk about partying 
and girls? 


'kM=M'M*kdJ Mwwmimi 

One Change In School 

\ Just Kick It 


What I would change in life is school. I would change it 
by getting more people involved to get more kids to their 
academic requirements. 

I think school is the most important thing to life. 
School gets you a good job and knowledge to life. School is 
all around you. School is the one thing I would change. 

-Puppy Chow 

From The Beat: We think schools could use some fresh ideas about how 
to "get more kids to their academic requirements," how do you think 
they could do that better? What are your school plans? Even though 
school IS all around you, do you want to go to college? 

I'm going to change, 

When you see me in my Range... Rover, 

I got dog named Dover and he knows how to roll over. 

For now I'm sitting in the Hall looking at the wall, 

Sleeping a lot so I can get real tall. 

Until I get out! 


From The Beat: Why wait? What if you don't give away any of your time 
for nothing, and do something while you're there? 



It Ain't Easy 

This is what happens when... 


From The Beat: when we have to edit your entire piece. Hey Shadow we 
miss your great writing! What happens when you think and feel and 
plan and love and work and get up-stand up-man? Come back, tell us. 



Something on my mind young bra wanta shine. 
I'm neva giving strangers love, keep to myself. 


From The Beat: Hey Daffy we want to hear more, but you can't glorify the 
game. How else might you shine in life? Looks like you can write... 


It Ain't Easy 

It ain't easy in this land of misery. 

-Tommy G 

From The Beat: We couldn't print this one. though it was well written. 

Nn More 

Never again 
Never again 
Never again 
Never again 
Never again 
Never again 
Never again 
Never again 
Never again 
Never again 

From The Beat: 
faith help your 

will I come to the hall 

will I do cocaine 

will I rob another man on the block 

will I get jacked up by the cops 

will I get into a street fight 

will I pop a pill 

will I rob a local store 

will I trust another 

will I live or die by the sword 

will I not have faith in the Lord. 


Why won't you do any of these things again? Does your 
resolve? Do you see yourself living a different life? 




It ain't easy being me 

It ain't easy being in the streets 

It ain't easy living my life 

It ain't easy stuck by a knife 

It ain't easy selling drugs 

It ain't easy being a thug 

It ain't easy trusting a girl 

It ain't easy when you Furl 

It ain't easy being in the hood 

It ain't easy when ya up to no good 

It ain't easy being in jail 

It ain't easy when you're living in hell 

It ain't easy being black 

It ain't easy selling crack 

It ain't easy having a baby 

It ain't easy trusting your lady 

It ain't easy living in the hills 

It ain't easy when you off them pills 

It ain't easy being in here 

It ain't easy living in fear 

It ain't easy on the block 

It ain't easy being shot 

It ain't easy to kill 

It ain't easy to rob and steal 

It ain't easy to get hella money 

It ain't easy to take it from me. 


From The Beat: That's a long list of a hard life. What if you go one by 
one through this list while you're in this program and figure out another 
way you would deal with each challenge. All together it's too much! 
One by one you may be able to find another way. 

War Zone 

Part 2 

Another day, another week, another month gone by in 
my life with me not in society. I ended up in jail because 
I've been making some wrong choices. 

I try not to be militant but it's in my bloodline. Every 
night I think of what I can do to make me a better person 
but I just can't stick. People be insulting my intelligence, 
criticizing me and doubting me like I can't make it in life, 
then I wonder? 


From The Beat: It hurts when it feels like people don't believe in you. 
Sometimes you have to work at it awhile to gain people's trust. We had 
to edit your title and your signature, maybe how you identify yourself 
leaves people wondering about your choices? You could be militant 
about positive things, if bloodline makes the difference. Maybe you are 
a good person, but some things you do must change. 

Life is a war zone 

Look back and think how many homeboys have died in 

the war zone 

Hatred in my eyes cause way too many are gone 

This war zone is giving us a bad reputation 

No one shows us love 'cause of the war zone 

They treat animals betta than us 

It's a cold world 

But it's cool 'cause I still choose 

To be in the war zone. 


From The Beat: What would it take to choose to live in a peace zone? 
How many more homeboys would have to die before you think, actually. 

this is a waste? 

•ne Tkini li Chaige 


J L 

If there was one thing I could change about my 
neighborhood it's the fact that it's so hot. 

-Young Lobo 

From The Beat: We had to edit. What would it take if you did decide to 
quit this war? Would you have to stay somewhere else? 


'k*j=M-MikdJ mmmmm 


The Way I Am 

When I first became a teen I was all flame up chillin' 
with the homies. Me and the homies acting like some 
fools. I'm fifteen turning sixteen September the 21stMy 
homeboys got my back until I die. That's why I'm goin to 
stay solid like a true homeboy. Never shave my mongal. 
It's like my pano. Never let the enemy beat me I can't face 
defeat. I don't know why but my homeboys are closer 
than my family. Love my moms that's all I got left. Trying 
to forgive my pops. They both have to know if I could I 
would stop, I got in por vida. Im the lil homie chillen with 
the older homies. I pray for the lord to forgive for my sins. 
And won't let me die if I go don't let nothing change. 


From The Beat: We had to edit. We understand you hope your homeboys 
"stay solid," but in fact you have no control over what other people do — 
so what others do is up to them. As we go through teen years our friends 
are like a mirror for ourselves, and we feel more self understanding 
through our friends — which is important and maybe partly why they are 
so close. You could "stop" if you wanted to. 



I got a month and a half 'til I get out which in October 
of this year. 

In order to keep my release I gotta be cool in here. 
Right now I'm the third highest, step three. I've been in 
here since February so I gotta be on my p's and q's. 

-On P's and Q's 

From The Beat: That time is drawing near. What are your plans? Will 
you graduate or get your GEO? Where will you look for a job? How will 
you support yourself so you don't fall back in the streets? 



I miss being free. I miss the block and the homies. 
miss my girl and the family. I hate it here. Can't see the 
homies. Some homies is in here with me too so I'm not 
tripping. When I get out I'm finally gonna see my girl. 

An O.G. "my dad" always told me to stay true and 
never snitch on my homies and when I'm doing dirt ride 
solo. Because if you ride solo no one can snitch on you. 
So now I got to do the time. 

So I'm not tripping because my day will come when 
I'm able to get out and be free. This isn't the life I chose, 
this is how I was raised. I will always be a homeboy for 
life like my dad. To all my homeboys locked up, stay up 
and don't let the wall get to you. Keep your head up at all 
times and never give up. Stay strong. 


From The Beat: We edited some. We hear what you're saying about 
homies, dirt, etc. and have heard it many times. We also hear that you 
hate being locked up. The two go together. Though it may be how you 
were raised, you CAN choose the life you live. It may be different than 
what you know, but that can be interesting — definitely more interesting 
than a wall. 



When I first became a teen, I was already putting in work 
for my hood. I started at a young age. My first time doing 
time I did seven months. I went to New Founds. Then I got 
out and went back. 

Then when I got out I thought I was going to be good. 
Then I got sent to a group home called the R House, but I 
ran. Now I got to do a year in Fouts or Challenge. 

-Sir General 

From The Beat: We edited because you can't discuss case details in the 
Beat. Anyway, what do you think of your own story? You're clearly a 
smart guy. We think you could do great things, and know you have 
that choice. 

Doing Real Good 

It's yo boy from Vallejo. Never again I'm going to do the 
bad things I did. I was always out sniffin', smoking, and 

I think it's time to quit. I've been locked up for a while 
now. And I've been doing real good without drugs. So 
that's what I'm never gonna do again. 

-Irby the Monkey! 

From The Beat: We're glad you've been doing good. You'll have this 
sober time to jump start your freedom when you're released, which will 
help you make good decisions from the start. 

The Hood 

In my hood we are real thick, all the people that are 
"really" from the hood are solid. But there's one thing 
that can change, is all the fake people need to stop 
trying to act like they're from the hood. Cause they are 
just making it hard on themselves, 'cause when they get 
busted out its going to be all bad. 

I'm just trying to help those certain people out, cause 
they make us and themselves look bad. People are just 
better off being who they really are, because if you try to 
join the game your going to fall off real quick and either 
snitch and try dropping out when it pops off. So you guys 
are better off being yourselves. 

I -Sir General 

From The Beat: We agree people are better off being themselves, far 
beyond their hood affiliations. How do you know, and who decides 
who is real and who is fake? Could mistakes be made? With these 
rules if they don't become allies couldn't they become enemies? Is the 
criticism of certain folks being fake affecting snitching — which has been 
going on for decades? 

Life w/oot Money 




Whenever you don't have money, you just sit at home 
and do nothing. In my case, my money was stolen by my 
stepfather who owes me child support but refuses to pay 
it. He robbed my mother by taking her credit cards and 
putting her in debt. 

We now live in an apartment scraping by on our bills. 
Me and my sisters try not to ask our mom if she can buy 
us something because we only know that it will stress 
her out. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like with 
money all the time. It's hard not to think about it but then 
I know I wouldn't be as smart as I am now. 


From The Beat: It is true that sometimes you are forced to use your 
ingenuity and creativity when you can't just go out and buy something, 
and that there is great value in that. Maybe you could get a job! 

ise your 

" J 

Wake Up 

I will never go to jail again or will never try to break the 
law. But thangs always happen. I'm going to try t get a job 
try to support my family. Because coming to places like 
this just waste people's time. 

Like me this is wasting my time I could be with my 
girl right now doing what I want to do. Instead of being 
told by some person I don't even know. Guess tha stuff 
I was doing wasn't good enough because I wouldn't be 
going to Fouts. So I need to get my act together and stop 
playing with my life. 'Cause soon I'm going to wake up 
and I'm a be 35 still doing dumb stuff if I don't change. 


From The Beat: It sounds like good thinking. Even if things happen 
you still have a choice what you're going to do, and it will help you 
make the best choice if you are really determined not to go to jail. 



First Year Teen 

My brother is in jail. They want him to fail. Locked up 
in a cold cell, he thinking what the hell. Never fail, life 
lessons are real. Yeah, I'm in jail but I wish my older 
brother had bail. 

So I stay strong lead a life in god's palm. I kiss my 
mom tell her she's the queen. I'm out the streets because 
I have seen what you have not seen. God came on my 
court date and I'm outta here. That's why I'm faithful for 
that day job court hitting my way. Friends bring no trust 
but jail that's shame. I want to have a life. I'm outta here. 


From The Beat: If you want to have a life you have to build it. You need 
your important relationships, your job, education, faith, right living. It 
sounds like you are being given a chance — take it. 

Love Never Again 

I fell in love too many times before 

It all ended badly and my heart was torn 

I want a relationship with no strings attached 

But falling in love? That'll never come back. 

Everyone I've ever loved has hurt me 

Lying, playing games, and abusing me 

They all trick me into staying with them 

Treating me badly with original sin 

I hate the way all these guys use me 

I'm all bruised up lying to my family 

I fell in love that's why I stayed 

Staying in bad situations is a dangerous game 

So love? I'm never gonna fall into again 

If I'm gonna be with somebody they'll stay a friend. 

-Lady Chief 

From The Beat: What's your part in this drama? You want to really 
know yourself, your patterns and beliefs if you want to stop this. We're 
glad you don't want love that hurts you. 


Shrooms are crazy. There's no type of drug that would 
have that same effect on you like shrooms do, that I have 
experienced. It's hard to explain the feeling you have, but 
it's easy to explain only a couple things you see. 

Walls close in, things start moving or shifting. The 
next day I was shocked where my mind was the whole 
time, shrooms were tricking my mind. I was having a 
good time on that, but if anything would have made me 
paranoid I think I would have snapped not knowing what 
my actions would have been. 

Never again will I do that and put myself in that 
position. What's up Challenge, I should have stayed in 
that unit! 


From The Beat: What did you realize might have happened if you felt 
pushed too far in that state of mind? When you say you will not put 
yourself in that position again, do you mean where you are not in 
control of your perception, or your actions? 

One Important Change 

One important change I need to make is my mentality 
and the way I look at things. I think I have a criminal 
mind cause I'm money hungry and I'm always trying to 
find a loop hole in the system or an easy way to make 
money or an opportunity to get away with something. 


From The Beat: We hope one day you have the confidence in yourself 
that you can accomplish things without having to get away with 
anything, without loopholes, or thinking you need the easy way. 


When I first turned a teenager was when I started to 
do horrible things like started to smoke trees and go to 
juvenile hall. My first charge was a federal charge. Then 
I toned it down. Now I'm seventeen doing a year here at 


From The Beat: We edited a little. Our question to you is at this rate 
where will you be at 1 9? More importantly, where do you Want to be? 
What if you let yourself be the man you could be? Don't get addicted to 
trouble, its a great excuse. 


When I first became a teen I started kicking it with new 
friends in Jr. High school. Plus I started kicking it with 
my older cousins. 

I was always getting into trouble and started going to 
juvenile hall. At first I was only doing little stuff, but soon 
my crimes started getting worse. I went from doing stuff 
like petty theft to assault. 

I think my crimes continue to get worse and I need to 
calm my actions down. Well, that's all I got Beat alright. 
Until next time. 


The Beat Within: Now you have time to think about your progression 
and whether this is the life you really want. Who were you before Jr. 
High? What were your interests, and goals? This is a chance for you to 
get your life back. 

One Important Change 

Hearts change, people might snatch your chain leave ya' 
bloody in the rain, black man the same, no gang but a 
thug in shame, I fight because I thought it was right, but 
I'm done with because that's the past, drop rain and leave 
my mask. 

I'm going home, but I only had one brother—died gone 
yeah— I should of cried, I show him pride. I got strings 
that's always tied. I like going home it's my shrine, no 
more doing time. 


From The Beat: We had to edit your piece. Why do hearts change in 
this story? We are sorry for your loss. Keep your determination to do 


no i 

no more time. 

Fnilj Line 

I wanna write about my family. I'm gonna start with my 
Dad, he is my best friend. He always gives me good advice, 
we talk like friends instead of father to son and that's the 
way I'd have it. I got so much respect for him after all he's 
been through. 

My mom is the one that I tell anything and everything 
to. She helps me do the right thing and is always here 
for me. She's at my visit every time no matter what and 
supports me to the fullest. 

My little brother is my buddy. We chill and play games 
and he be hella funny when I'm lit. I give him advice and 
he looks up to me. 

My 2 year old brother is like my twin, he acts just like 
me and looks just like me. He is a handful though. I love 
him a lot, and my lil brother Christopher who isn't here, I 
never got to get to know him. RIP lil brother, we miss you. 
I love you guys. (Gone). 


From The Beat: You seem grateful to have this family who you love and 
who support you. If your little brother(s) look up to you, be a good role 
model because they'll do what you do (not what you say). 


^nnnnnE wi/miMJWk 


Against Sarah Palin on Abortions 

I think that Sarah Palin should keep abortions, because 
what if one of her love ones got raped and they didn't 
want the baby? Then how would she feel? I am against 
banning abortions, because what if the person don't want 
the child that they didn't want. 

But at the same time if people don't want a child 
then they should use protection. But some time a child 
can still be created if the protection don't work. So the 
best thing to do is only have sex with someone you are 
dedicated to, for example I got a girl pregnant when I was 
fifteen and I wasn't ready for a baby so me and my girl 
friend decide to have her get and abortion because we 
wasn't financial ready and we were both young.... but now 
I'm seventeen and know what it take care of a baby and 
the responsibility. 


From The Beat: Thanks for your insights, you make some really good 
points. Also, what do you think is the ideal age to have kids? What 
makes a person more ready, than another? 

Neier Again Mj Anier 

Never again will I let my anger get the best of me. That 
is the reason why I'm back in here because I let my anger 
get to the best of me and I got in a fight. 

Never again will I let myself stoop to a level that low. 
Next time I will try to learn better ways to handle anger 
and stress appropriately. 

The reason I would never do that again is because it 
is a violation and it got me up in here. Also because that 
person didn't even get in trouble she's free I'm the one in 
here with my freedom being taking away. I'm hella mad at 
myself for stooping to a level that low. 

One thing that I've learned from this experience is 
that you can't let little obstacles get in the way of big 
goals you're trying to reach. You have to remember that 
you are the only one responsible for your actions. 


From The Beat: What kinds of skills are you learning now, that might 
help you manage your anger and emotions. Does meditation help? 
Writing? Talking to friends? 


If Someone Robbed My Mama 

I did home invasion robbery, and now it got me locked 


or how long, I don't know yet. 

But I do know that I am young, with a lot of life ahead of 


My future is to get released, so I can change. I ask myself, 

where would I be ten years from now? 

Would I end up back in jail 

or will I be somewhere living my life like it's golden? 

No matter if it's a hundred words 

A hundred miles or even a hundred days, 

My future. 

Ten years from now 

I wish that I could say ten things to the judge 

Just so he can let me out, 

So I can go a hundred miles, 

Far into my life instead of wasting my time in jail 

My life is top good to waste on a hell life 

I need to live my life like a golden girl. 


From The Beat: You said it, its what you need. What steps will you have 
to take to win and achieve the life you need, the life you seek? What 
would you LIKE to be doing ten years from now? 

Never Again Is just A State of Mind 

Never again, is what we say 

But as the days go on we still reply. 

Never again will I cry and have my heart broken to 


I say I'll never have that much breed. 

Never again can I say I haven't been to jail. 

I'm tired of being a statistic I just need to be realistic. 

Never again will my heart long for anything. 

I will bring what needs to be at the table. 

Never again will I tell a person to stop, it's their willing 


I will aim and strive for a better life. Never again will I 

back down it will always be a challenge. 

Never again is just a state of mind and you can keep your 

action positive and just start reciting a new saying. 

-Lil Baby 

From The Beat: As positive as this poem is, we hope it inspires other 
readers to be positive as well. And mostly, we hope YOU hold on to your 
inspiration to stay on this path. Realistic but never a statistic. 

One thing I will never in my life doing again is robbing 
somebody because I would never want me or anybody in 
my family, to get robbed, especially my mama because if 
somebody robbed my mama and I would be mad at the 

So since I've been in here I've decided that, that is one 
thing that I will never do again. I've learned my lesson and 
I hope that everybody who reads this understands were 
I'm coming from with this passage. 


From The Beat: Its good you came to that conclusion, because when you 
think about it, the worst thieving you could do would be if you robbed 
your mother of her sons happiness. 





Girl, when I look in you eyes I see 

Some thing I never seen before girl 

You intensify, you beauty is unreal 

When I look your way you steal my heart 

Each and every day. I can't keep going on 

Like this, my heart can't take the pain 

Then I hear you use the Lord's name in vain, 

So girl you tell me, who's the one to blame 

'Cause you're the one caught up in the fame 

Of the game and my heart girl 

I'm the one who can't take the pain 

'Cause girl I don't take it as a game, so you must 

Be the one to blame it's over girl I'm 

Here to let you know it's not a game 

-Lil' One 

From The Beat: We got a chance to see the lyrical side of you with this 
poem (we always knew it was there). So now all we can hope is that one 
day you meet the girl who can take the pain out of your game! 

Never Again 

Never again will Shadow ever write in The Beat. I'm too 
old. Been writing since 2002. I'm almost 18 I retire. 108 
days left 'till my birthday, yeah I'm a Capricorn - December 
26, I'm a 1990's baby - of Puebla Hawaiian. So yeah bye 
Beat, pencil in, pencil out yeah whatever dude. 


From The Beat: But Shadow, you may be too old for The Beat Within, 
but that doesn't mean you can't write for The Beat Without. We hope 
you do! 


' snnnnBSB mmmmm 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* » 

Deaf Ear 

Never again will I disobey my moms again. She was right 
about everything. It's crazy cause it seemed like she was 
just trying to stop me from having fun but she really knew 
better and wanted me to be safe. Never again will I give my 
mom a deaf ear, never again. 


From The Beat: What about when it seems like she's trying to stop you 
from having fun? 

Man I Miss My Dawg 


Around the corner is where we post in front of the liquor 
store. We smoke and drink for my ninja boonie. Sometime 
it roll and sometime is slow. 

We hop the gate next to the store to get away from 5-0. 
I love my bossland ninja and we gon' keep it lit for our 
fallen soldiers. 900 millionaires. 

-Lil Nef 

From The Beat: What else do you do? What else do you plan to do when 
you get out. Its good to respect your fallen friends, but you need to live 
your lives. Venture off the corner, check out the world! 


God is Looking Down on Me 


What's up Beat Within, this is Lil' Man form Oakland. 

his is about street life ain't cool. 

This street life for me isn't going to last forever 

Shhh, I'm just chillin' right now, and it you was like me 

ou will love the same shhh I do? 

But I know God is looking down on me - 

And he knows, and I know, 

That I could change my life, 

but all the bad things I did in my life is so crazy. 

I see everything in my hood 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: What parts of your crazy life do you need to let go of? 
What relationships, people, activities will you have to say goodbye to, 
in order to change your life in the way that you want to? 

Next Year 


Next year I'm gone be right 

I'm gonna do good and get hella money the good way 
I'm not sellin' coke or weed but working, so that I can 

accomplish things my own things, so that I don't have to 

expect people to buy me stuff. 

That's why I'm gonna be successful in this world. 

-Baby Whoday 

From The Beat: We like what we're reading. Baby Whoday! What kind of 
job do you hope to get? And are you also going to go back to school? 
Because you know how it is the better your schooling, the better the 

Dreaming Big 


I dreaming big. . . 

I want to go some place were there is no police, so that I 

can do what. 

I want to build things 

I just want do a lot of good stuff, so that I won't be in 


When I'm in my room. I dream big. 

I even dream to have billions all day that's all I do is dream 


-Baby Whoday 

From The Beat: We're glad to hear your dreams pass the ceiling/and now 
dreaming big is more than just feeling/step up your game and tell us 
your plan, from the dreams of the boy come the life of the man 



I wish I was at home. 

Home is the place to be. 

I wish I was on the outs. 

So I could be free 

Free from what? 

The answer is simple 

Free from negativity 

And people causing chaos 

I wish I was at home 

Playing video games with my brother 

I wish I was at home 

And not fighting with my mother 

Home is the place for me 

To be happy and be well... 

I Free 

From The Beat: Great poem - the feeling of homesickness is one your 
readers will definitely feel. Why do you think its so hard for people to 
realize how much they love their home until they get taken away? 

The Cnrner After That 

Around the next corner, it is going to be a long year 
Around the next corner, life is going to change 
Around the next corner, I'm going to have to adapt 
Around the next corner, I'm not going to have help 
Around the next corner, I'll be on my own 
I Around the next corner, I'll be growing up all by myself 
I only know what's around this next corner 
My question is 

I What's around the corner after that? 
From The Beat: We see bright things on that corner, based on what 
you've written so far. And we're hoping you stay in touch for long 
enough to let us know what you find there. 

Never Again 

I did a robbery once in my life and went to the hall 
And I'm never going back 
I smoked a cigarette and got light headed 
And I will never do it again 

I lost a lot of family members and been to all of they 
funerals and I'm not planning on going to no more 
'Cause it hurts 
I To see your family or friends laying there dead. 
But to stay focused, I'm gonna go to school and work to 
stay out of trouble and stay out of the streets I won't 

I be the next one in the grave. 

From The Beat: We can tell from the way you write that you could do 
well in school if you try... you know how to put your thoughts and 
feelings in an intelligent way ... even with all the loved ones you'i 
lost. That's why we wrote this up as a poem - you have a poetic feel 1 
the way you put words on paper! 

Grocery Parking 

When I first learned to park in a grocery store parking 
lot. I crashed into somebody in an all white 300 c backing 

She hopped out and told me to stop, but I put it in 
drive and peeled off. I now know how to park, so I will 
never again crash another car in he grocery store parking 
lot again, hopefully. 


From The Beat: The real question is: Do you have a driver's license? 


' snnnnBSB mmmmm 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* // 

Better Life 

Right now I'm just thinking about getting out of juvenile 
hall and starting a better life. I just want to finish school 
and get my diploma, go to college. My family needs me. 

All this time I've been in the hall has made me see I 
don't want to come back to this place. It's just not me. I'd 
rather be at my house with my family and friends, doing 
my own thing than being in the hall, having people telling 
me what to do. 

My family doesn't like seeing me in here but what 
can I do? I messed up, but there's always a next time 
for everything. All I want on my next court is to hear the 
judge tell me that I'm a get released and go back to my 
family and my girlfriend. 

-White Boi 

From The Beat: We are glad to hear you sounding positive about the 
future, but don't forget, there isn't always a next time. Don't take your 
second chances for granted.. .that could be dangerous. 

Walking Through The Valley 

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod 
and your staff they comfort me." 

I like this, because it shows that God or someone is 
there to protect me and look after me and make sure that 
I at least turn out ok. 

-Lil L 
From The Beat: You also need to look out for yourself, protect yourself, 
and make sure that you are okay. To succeed in this life, you need to 
have faith in yourself. 

Never Again 


I'm never coming back to the hall, never again 'cause 
my case just hit the fan. The judge just gave me another 
chance to change my ways 'cause the streets is nothing 
but violence, killings, drug activity, things of that nature. 
When I was running the streets I was wild, doing things 
normal teenagers do like getting money and staying out 
the way. 

There's too much going on in them streets. I suggest 
to all who are in the hall, just do something positive in 
society. If not, you gonna end up dead or locked up for the 
rest of your life. Me, I'm gonna put my stuff together, go to 
college and get on with my life, maybe have a wife. 

-Lil' T 

From The Beat: Now that you have been given another chance, what 
is your plan to help keep you on the path to college? We are glad you 
sound so determined, it's all up to you from here. 


Jail, Never Again 

Never again will I come to jail. I made a bad decision in 
choosing my friends. My friends lied to me. When your 
best friends lie to you and it's a serious moment, it feels 
like the world is turning against you. I was lost when I 
found out that my patna would lie to me. Now I just sit 
back and observe who I am around. From now on I will 
just stay solo. 

What I realize now is that I have to take care of myself 
and make my own decisions. I now know that no matter 
how close you are to your friends you can't trust them. At I 
least that's what I've learned. I would never have thought 
I would learn like this but, like they say, you learn from 
your mistakes. I learned the wrong way. 


From The Beat: This is a painful lesson to have to learn. How does this 
change the way you think about your future? 

J L 

My Lil' Brother 


What's good today Beat? Right now I'm talking about 
my lil' brother Nichi. They need to free us right now, cuz 
man, this jail stuff is weak. But to all my ninjas, keep 
your head up. And lil' bra, when you get out, it's good. 


From The Beat: Tell us more about your brother Nichi.. .what advice 
would you give him if you saw him right now? 

My Krazy Life 

This is the life of a cholo from Florida. My life has been 
messed up growing up in the hard streets of F.L.A, which 
means Florida. I had trouble growing up. My relationship 
with my mom was not good. I met a beautiful female from 
California and I fell in love with her. I just came to change 
my whole life around but I still had all that anger inside 
I of me because of my mom and her familia. 

One night I was sad and started drinking and I just 
went cut. I got caught up and now I'm stressing inside 
trying to see if I want to leave that gang life behind and 
just start all over for the baby that's on the way also, for 
my Jefesita and my carnalitas and my familia. Now I'm 
stressing, trying to do the right thing for everybody out 
there. The gang life is not the way to go. When you die, 
you die and there's nothing to get you back. So, listen up 
homitos and homitas. 


From The Beat: It seems you have everything in perspective to live a 
successful life when you get out. Why do you suppose so many of your 
peers choose the gang life and death over their family and life? 


40 ounce's 

Drinking on 40's wit my family. 

Just posted, smoking, watching TV, playing games, 

Enjoying life, doing what we do, 

the life and holdin' my own. 

Born in LA, all I saw was 

Empty 40 bottles. Raised up in the Bay 

Drinkin 40's. But ya that's it, I'm out ghost. 

-Young Tookie 

From The Beat: What better things can you strive for besides sitting 
down with a 40? How did that work out for other family members? 


I wish I never did the things I did to end up locked up 
in this system. Being on lockdown makes me think back 
to when I used to be on the streets. I regret every single 
thing I did. My mom always told me not to do bad things 
because one day I was gonna end up in jail. She was right, 
even my own friends tried to stop me from doing all those 
robberies but I thought I was never going to get caught. 

Once I thought I was doing too much I stopped and 
thought for a minute. I had a feeling that I was going to 

Now being locked up makes me realize that I should 
change, because I want to go to school and be something. 
My plans didn't go the way that I thought they would. The 
people that care for me tell me to do something good. I'm 
going to do what they say because they were always right 
with their thoughts. 


From The Beat: We are glad to hear that you want to start listening to 
the advice of people who really care about you. You are so young — you 
can change and do something good if you stick your mind to it, and 
stay determined. 


^nnnnnE wi/miMJWk 

Tears Of A Ctiolo 

I met this beautiful young girl and I fell in love with her. 
At first I thought I was just going to use her but when I 
got locked up in here I realize what this firm female meant 
to me. I felt feelings that I've never felt before, you feel 
me. Even a cholo cries for his female. I always thought I 
wasn't going to cry over a female. 

When you look at me you might think that I don't 
have feelings but, you feel me, this firm cholo does cry 
over a girl. Every day and night the only thing that was 
crossing my mind is her name and all the firm memories 
we've had together. As soon as I think of that I just feel 
weak, let those tears come down my face and I realize 
that this female means the world to me. The only thing I 
wanna do everyday is just hear her sweet pretty voice. I'm 
even going to stop gang banging for her because I don't 
want nothing bad to happen to her or the baby inside of 

I'm so happy she's having my baby. This female is 
my everything and I'm willing to change. Everyday is a 
struggle because I always think about her knowing that I 
could've been out there with her. It tears me inside when I 
think that she's cheating on me but I know she loves me. 
She won't do that. When I get out I'm a change. 

I'm here because one night I was drunk and she 
wanted me to stay home and not go out but I didn't listen. 
This is the first girl that actually cares for me. She tells 
me to do positive things for myself and for her. I'm willing 
to change. She wanted me to go for my dreams and to 
finish school and that's why I know she's special. She put 
my name on her ankle to prove once more that she loves 
me. I miss her a lot, I wish I would've listened. 


From The Beat: It sounds like this woman is making a positive impact on 
your life, and we are so glad you have found someone like that. But we 
also hope you make your choices because of your own desires for a new 
life, that you have a desire within yourself to change. Because that is 
what is going to help you get through the obstacles ahead. 

ninja just got 
I'm getting ready 

Getting Ready 

What's up with The Beat? Man yah 
sentence. I been here nine months and I'm getting ready 
for the CYA because that's where I'm heading. I'm gonna 
be getting out around 2011. 

When I do get released I'm never coming back, you 
can count on it. That's all I got for the Beat this week, to 
all my ninjas keep yo head up I'm out. 


From The Beat: We are sorry to know you'll be down until 2011, and 
hope you can take this time to educate yourself, maybe even learn a job 
skill and figure out some stuff so that when you are released you not 
only stay free, but have a good life. 


I'm Not Supposed To Remember 

I'm not supposed to remember 

but I remember because I'm clever for being a gang 

Seeing one of the homies die in September. 
I pray everyday and every night that he'll be with his son 
and wife. I ask myself, is this life worth carrying a gun or 
a knife? 

Living in this world of strife, 

some days I wonder if I'll make it to have a son or a wife. 
Rip Dre. 

From The Beat: Keep rhyming., 
you, Lil' Bear. 

-Lil' Bear 

we want to hear a longer piece from 

J L 


What's cracking. It's your boy Tookie, just checking in 
with ya'll. Ya'll know what it is. What I had in mind today 
was dreaming. 

I A couple of days ago I had a good little sleep. I mean 

there's all types of dreams I have but, feel me, I can't 
speak on it. This particular one I had was cool. The only 
way to get freedom in here is to dream. That's one of the 
things that helps me get through these hectic days. Feel 
me. Like I said, that dream was like I was really on the 
outs with my family doing what we do, feel me. It was 
real cool. I gotta keep it p.g. for ya'll but I ain't the type 
of person to put my business out there. I just had this 

I dream piece in mind for ya'll today. 
From The Beat: What were you doing with your family in this dream? 
Eating? Hanging out in a park? Playing football? You made us curious, 
and then you didn't provide any details at all! 


When I first became a teen, I was keen 

My head was bulletproof, words couldn't intervene 

I never realized what I had until I lost it 

I got what I wanted if I stole or if I bought it 

My birthday present was the best of them all 

Getting' money, gettin' trees and just sellin' all 

Pockets fat like a pregnant women stomach 

Dough in my pocket, how it's lookin', Yeah they love it 

It's never been nothin', but they turned it into something 

Only 'cause I'm clean 'cause I'm fly and I'm stuntin' 


From The Beat: We're still not sure what you've lost or realized. We'd like 
to you dig beyond money and tell us what you've realized and what it 
took to realize it. 


Didn't Play With Me 

They didn't play with me, they gave me the whole six and 
a half. You know I'll bounce back like always. 

That's why they gave it to me because they gave me 
too many chances. I try to get one more this time but they 
didn't play with me. So now I'm waiting to see how this 
go be popping off. Hey quail, still do that thang in a few 

-Baby Quail 

From The Beat: We wish you well. If you do still do that thing in a few 
years, how much time you think they'll give you then? 

One More Placement 

What's up Beat, I'm going to another placement. 

I ran from camp twice and came back in here. The 
judge gave me one more chance to go to a group home. 

I want to stay in here for seven months because that's 
when I turn eighteen. I know when I go to a group home 
I am gonna cut from it because I spent too much time in 
here to stay at somebody's group home. I got sent to a 
group home three weeks ago and still nobody came to see 

I go back to court in three more days. I hope the judge 
just say I can stay 'til I turn eighteen and then let me go 

I'll get back at The Beat next week. 


From The Beat: And what if you do get sent to the group home? What 
good will running do? When you think about the long term, is this really 
the smart choice for you? 


^nnnnnE wi/miMJWk 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* // 

Around The Next Corner 

Around the next corner you just never know. You never 
know what is going to happen when you go around the 
next corner. It could be good or bad. 

You could find some money, find that girl you been 
looking for, you could get shot, one of yo homies could 
just be getting killed, 5-0 could just hit the block jack 
you and take yo money, accuse you of some thing and 
take you to jail—or you could have a gun with a body on it 
now you spending the rest of your life in jail. 

You could be on the block, turn the corner and you 
just never know what would happen around the next 
corner. It could be bad or good. 


From The Beat: This is true, though it seems like it depends a lot on 
where you're walking-what might be around the next corner. There 
are more serious awful bad possibilities in your scenario than good 
possibilities... what are some other good things that could be coming 
your way? Anyway to get off the street of death and destruction? 

Wbei I First Became a Teen 


When I first became a teen, I was playing sports, playing 
everyday 'cause it wasn't nothing but school and sports 
and positive activities in the community. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you were in a positive environment. What 
changed? Which life do you prefer, now that you have the time and 
perspective to think about it. 

Pills Ain't Cool 


Never again will I pop another pill because that feeling 
just had me going crazy. I felt I could do anything but I 
really knew when my high came down I had to deal with 
the situation I caused. 

I really wasn't trippin' about the problems I caused 
because that's what I do on a daily basis. 

Pill high will only last for two to three hours but that's 
what pills do. The feeling about pills is that you never 
know how high you gone get sometimes. You wont get 
high some times. People act a whole different way, they 
can't handle the pill so they do stupid shhh that get them 
caught up. 

-Young Savage 

From The Beat: Well, we agree maybe the pills aren't a good idea. 
What's up with causing problems on a daily basis? 



For years I've struggled. So many homies have died. As 
an adolescent mama poppin' anti-depressants. Growing 
up around gang violence. Strapped up is the out come 
cause the homies getting jumped on. Mama looking at me 
like, what has my son become? 

Struggling is all I know cause I've had a hard life 
messing with rivals, making the news for gang fight 
statistics. They say we wont make it past 25 but look at 
the O.G.s living strong with pride. 

We got to eat, so all my ninjas live like hogs. 

Little ninjas gang bang, don't even know what they 
doing. Half these ninjas in this rap game be so fake. I say 
what I say homie and I did what I did. It's a struggle in this 
game and it feels like only the strong can live. 

-Lil Jay Jay 

From The Beat: Who says you won't live past 25? Do you believe it? 
How many friends have you lost? How do you feel about yourself when 
your Mama looks at you like what have you become? Many OG's have 
also died. How strong would you have to be to walk away and live 
another life, re-connect to your Mama, and maybe have a family? 



The first drug I did was marijuana. The second one was 
marijuana too. It felt so good I thought I was flying. When 
I first became a teen I thought I was all cool and shhh but 

II didn't know that I had more responsibilities. 
From The Beat: So what are these responsibilities and how will you go 
about fulfilling them? 


What's up blood? This lil Roland back from the Y to go to 
court. I should be going back next week. That shhh cool 

I up there yo, time go by way faster. 
Anyway one important change I want to make is all 
the stress I caused my mama, I put her through a lot of 
stress that I feel wasn't necessary but stuff happens. I 
just thank her for always being there and staying in my 
corner. That's what I want to change, all the stress I 
caused her she didn't and don't deserve none of that. So 
when I do the rest of my time in the Y, I will repay her and 
show her I appreciate every thing. 

-Lil Roland 

From The Beat: We're glad time at the Y is going by. We wonder how 
you plan to repay your Mama, and show her your appreciation? 

No Pills 

Man I'm never poppin' 3 pills again. It was my first time 
poppin' a pill and I took 3. I almost died that night. I 
was hella scared. I aint gon lie. I say I'm never doing 
it again because I couldn't breathe and I was taken to 
the hospital. And I was actin' hella stupid. I aint neva 
poppin' no pills again. 

-Not Lying 

From The Beat: We're glad you made it to the hospital and do not 
intend to repeat that mistake. 

The Street Is Crazy RIP Carl 

Man my older brother died for the streets. Time is hard 
and a lot of my family going crazy because it is a lot of 
killing and most of them are my family members. 

That's why when I get out I am going to stay out. This 
is not a place for me. R.I.P Carl Lacey. 


From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss and know it worries you. We 
hope you take your next chance to stay out of the street life, make the 
most of the rest of your life, and help your family heal. 




I I have a lot of emotions while I'm in here. Most of the 
emotions I feel in here are mad, sad and stressed. I be 
mad because people be talking too much and don't know 
when to stop. Another thing is people act like little kids. 

I be sad. My freedom got taken away from me and my 

I stress about a lot of this but there are two main 
things I stress about. One thing I stress about is getting 
my freedom back and when I'm a get out. The second 
thing I stress about is my family because they was always 
there for me but I can't be there for them. 

-Lil Kev 

From The Beat: When you are locked up you suddenly have so much time 
to think and feel. You are surrounded by many going through desperate 
times. Try to use the time to get your head straight so you can be there 
for your family when you get out. 


^nnnnnE wi/miMJWk 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* » 

My Family 

What's up Beat? Well the topic I'm going to write about 
today is one important change in my life I'm going to 

I want to change the way I treat my family, especially 
my mother and sister. Sometimes I say hurtful things to 
my mother when she gets me mad, That's the only time I 
say bad stuff to my mom, but I know it's wrong and I don't 
like it because I love my mom with all my heart. 

I never want to hurt her again. I also want to change 
the way I treat my little sister, because I treat her real bad, 
and I know that hurts my mother too. So I really want to 
change that and I know I'm going to change it. 


From The Beat: What's your new plan to do when your Mom gets mad? 
Why is it, you think, that you treated your sister badly? 


e outs. I'm going to 
it in here. I was mad 

When I Touch Down 

I can't wait 'til I touch down on the 

celebrate my birthday since I spent 

at first but when I thought about it there was nothing I 

could do about it. 

Your 18th birthday is supposed to be the day when 
you just do it big and that's exactly what I was planning 
on doing. It's all good cause when I get out I'm going to 
smoke big. I don't even really drink but I'm going to drink 

When I came in here, I was a little bit of both. When 
I drink I turn into a whole nother person and I start 
thinking and doing all kinds of crazy shhh. But when I 
smoke, I'm normal cause that's what I do. 

-The 90's Baby 

From The Beat: Well we wish you a Happy Birthday, and agree it is a 
milestone, you're considered an adult at 1 8. If you turn into another 
person when you drink, and that helped bring you into the hall — don't 
drink! What are your plans, it's time for those to kick in. 

A Promise Ito My Mother 


Never again will I break my mother's heart, because when 
I talked to my mother the other day she started crying. 
She is worried about me, 'cause if I mess up again I will 
go to the pen for three to five years and she wouldn't be 
able to handle it, so I'm going to get my G.E.D and get a 
job and help my mom pay rent and just try and take care 
of her, me and and my responsibilities. 

Usually when I get out, I go back to my old ways but 
this time I've got too much time to do. I'm not going to 
mess up for myself and and I'm prove to those who don't 
think I can, that I can make it. 

-Lil One 

From The Beat: Of course you can make it! We always knew you could 
- it's just a question of making that true commitment to yourself, to 
your love for your mom, your dreams in the best part of your heart. 
Remember, last time it took that one phone call from your homie and 
you ended up in trouble. This time, don't let them tempt you off your 
Path! | 

The Streets 

The streets is no joke or fun. The street I'm from is no 
joke. You come down my block with the wrong color or 
saying something wrong you might get jumped or even 
shot or killed. 

Look out and stay away from gangs 'cause that can 
get you in trouble. 

-Young BB 

From The Beat: How do you stay out of trouble on your street? 

Take My Life Serioos 


One important change: get out of jail and stay out. When 
I get out I want to take my life serious and stop playing 
with the game. I just want to give the street-life up. 


From The Beat: That's a good idea. How will you walk away? Will 
everything be the same but you? Have you laid out plans? 

I Love Yoo 


My baby Mom is 3 months pregnant and I'm in the halls. 
I've been stressed out but I want to tell her I love her and 
I want to be there for the baby. 


From The Beat: There's good writing on becoming a father in the Pieces 
of the Week section this week. Maybe it will help. 

Crack Heads 

When I look around my community I don't see alcoholics, 
I see crack heads. A lot of families get broken up because 

I the kids' welfare money goes to people who sell dope. 
-The Foe 
From The Beat: Thank you for sharing this important observation. What 
do you think needs to happen so that kids get the money they need for 
food and books? 

J L 



One thing that I would like to change is the way I look 
at life. I think I should take it more seriously. If I took life 
more seriously I could accomplish more things in life. I 
could go to college and get a degree. 


From The Beat: We're glad you're thinking about college, it's a good idea 
for you. When did you decide not to take life seriously? What is the 
benefit to not taking life seriously, is it because then it isn't so painful? 
Take your life seriously and set and achieve goals! 



Love is like a best cousin's in town, when it's there you 
cherish it and have the most fun with it—but when it's 
gone it leaves you with the worst feeling and loneliest life 
until the next. 

-Young Marco 

From The Beat: We agree. The only comfort we can offer is that it's a 
rich life, one that is filled with love. 



I think one thing that changed is that youngsters think 
it's ok to snitch. Everybody snitching these days like it's 
the thing to do. Youngsters got it messed up these days. 


From The Beat: We hear this a lot, however we also know that snitchin' 
has been going on forever... 


I am mad because I am still in here. The judge gave me 
two weeks but that ain't shhh. I am going to get out as I 
am good. 


From The Beat: Is that why you're here, because the judge gave you 
time? He just plucked you off the street, when you were being your 
sweet self, and put you in jail? Interesting. 


^nnnnnE wi/miMJWk 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* " 

Tired Of Jail 

I'm hella tired of jail but I got to stav it out. This place 
gets hella stressful after a while. At first it's alright 
because everybody needs time to think about shhh and 
get away from certain shhh. After a while you get hella 
tired of being in that room all damn day and around hella 


From The Beat: Makes sense. Can you read or write and take your 
thinking to the next level? 

Grew Up A Screw Up 

Got introduced to the gang as a screw up. 
Ahah. Not a screw up no more. Just a HI' wild. 
Stand on my own ground doing what I do. 
To everybody stay strong keep yo head 
Up one love. Stop snitching and all that hating. 

-Young Tookie 

From The Beat: We edited. We're glad you won't wear the identity of 
screw up. We want to know what you think "One love" means. 


My Friend Luis 

Around the corner my friend Luis lives. He's recovering 
from an accident that almost killed him. He was hit by a 
car like six or five months ago, and we all thought he was 
dead because he was on life support and in a coma for 
three months. 

But he snapped out and he at his house now, with 
just a broken leg and he's recovering and I haven't seen 
him because I've been locked up. 


From The Beat: What a miracle that he's snapped out of it! Have you 
written to him since you were locked up? Are you looking forward to 
seeing him? 


A Letter For My Mother 

Dear Mom, 

Look I know I been a little different and acted out. 
And I'm sorry... I'm sorry for coming back to this place. 
I'm sorry for every thing. 

I wish I could take it all back but I can't. I'm a new me 
a mom, you're a new you we've all changed but you got to 
give me a chance. 

The new me, I know I've had chance after chance but 
all I need is one more. I love you and I trust you, but you 
gotta love & trust me. 


From The Beat: Be sure to show your mom this copy of The Beat, we 
bet she will be really pleased to see your love printed up and published 



Man, I got court on Friday. Man I hope that they let me 
out or give me a little time to keep it real. I can't do jail 
time. They saying don't do the crime if you can't do the 
time and that's right. 

I hate bein' in here but I don't let that get me down. If 
you let it bring you down it's bad, got to keep your head 
up. When I was on the outs I did some things but I really 
don't do nothing to hurt people unless they try to hurt 
me. I'm a cool cat real talk. 


From The Beat: By now maybe you know what you're facing. When you 
eventually do get released how will you stay out? We think its better 
to stay out of jail than to figure out how to do time. 

Never Again 


Never again will I disobey my mom, never again will I 
return to the "hall" why? Because the hall isn't a place 
for me I can't handle it .1 cry every single day. 

I'm really missing my family and most of all my mom. 
She plays a big part in my life. I love my mom. she tells 
me what's right from wrong, picks me up when I'm down 
and leads me in the right direction and never again will I 
disrespect my mom and take her thru the ups & downs 
that I've taken her thru before. Never again. 

I really hate the fact that I have to be told when to 
eat, when to sleep, when to shower and what not. I'm not 
used to waken up at 7:00 in the morning to faces that I 
don't know I want to be with my family where I know I'm 

So never again will I return to Juvenile Hall ever, ever 

-Lady Love 

From The Beat: Think of this wonderful piece as a contract between you 
and you. A promise to yourself that you will keep no matter what. Its 
a vow now that you've put it in writing! 

I Am Sick And Tired Of People Messing 
With Me Too Much 

I I am sick of seeing people messing with me too much. 
I wish I could say to God, please help me and don't let 
anybody hurt my feelings and that I am a smart person. 
And I am also funny, and that I will not harm myself and 
others because I don't want to get hurt by them. 

I always look in the mirror... so many tears coming 
out of my eyes, because people are hurting my feelings 
and this is the reason why I don't finish my program. I 
was this close to graduating the program, but I couldn't 
control my impulse. I only wish I could stay focused on 
myself, and not on others, because we're not here to 
make friends, we're here to go to a program that's gonna 

I' help. 
I will not commit any offense, I will put this behind 
me, and that I will be a better person and I will always be 
positive in life. I wish I could be strong and act like my 
age... I wish I could have someone that cares about me 
and that could help me as a big brother or sister. 


From The Beat: We hope you find people who can support you, a 
program that helps you, and the love (and SELF love) that will help you 
grow into a strong young man. In the meantime, be thankful that you 
have the courage to express how you truly feel - a lot of locked up kids 

don't. Peace. 

Three Topics, Three Andswers 

1. I'll never break my mom's heart. 
Don't disrespect her. 

Don't talk back to her. 

Don't do drugs. 

Don't come to the hall. 

Follow up w/t my probation so I never come back here or 


2. To bring my dad back home and try to be a better son. 

3. I think that woman should have equal rights as man 
because I have sisters and I want them to be treated 


From The Beat: Thanks for your answers to all these questions. We're 
looking forward to reading more of what you have to say! 



^^— mnnnmam 


My Sister Talks White 

My sister, Keyona, talk like a white girl when she bored. 
She got it from Elmo. When she's just sitting in a car and 
she's bored, she starts talking like a white girl. She be 
saying girls jealous, like white girls talk. 

I'm Puerto Rican and black. She's — I don't know what 
her daddy is. We have different dads. Our mom is black. 


From The Beat: Have you ever heard white people pretend to talk like 
they think black people talk? If so, how do you feel when you hear it? 


l'i Sajii' Never 

Never again will I go this long without sex. Never again 
will I leave my family and sit and rot in this hole. Never 
again will I put my moms through all this depression. 
Never again will I leave my girl out there for the next ninja. 
Never again will I leave my lil* sis and lil' brother and not 
be their protector. 

Never again will I come in here again and let these 
counselors that barely even know me run my life. Never 
again, Beat! Never again will I get shot at. And never again 
would I get told on. Never say never, but I'm sayin' never! 


From The Beat: Every line of this piece gives another good reason to 
never give up your freedom again! Don't forget! 

Who You Miss 


Who you miss? Me, I miss my family. My drawe's an' 
clothes. What else? My fridge, bed, an' plus, my grams. 
That's what I miss. But now it don't matta. This the life I 
chose, so I'ma thug it out for my fam, so I can keep payin' 
they bills. Haaa. 

-Low Dog 

From The Beat: Come on Low Dog. Give us a break! If you keep "thugging 
it out," you're not doing it for the fam, but for yourself, and you should 
own up to that! Here you are, putting money in the pockets of the 
system, and contributing nothing but tears and heartache to your 
family. Time to take a more responsible look at what you're doing and 
who you're doing it for! 

My Last line 


Never again will I come back to YGC. This is my last 
experience in here. I'm done with this shhh. If I get into 
trouble again, it's going to be 850 time. But I don't plan 
on that. I feel I ain't never getting' arrested again. 

-No Name 

From The Beat: What is your feeling based on? Will you be doing things 
differently, or not doing some things at all? If you do what you did to 
get here, you can count on the same result, just a different place... 

W'assup With it? 


W'assup with The Beat? It's ya boy, Lee, just saying, 
"What's up with all The Beat readers? Well, I'm not goin' 
talk too much, I'm just up here at the Ranch, doin' my 


From The Beat: You can write a story for The Beat about anything that 
interests you. What's going on in your mind? Imagination? Heart? Write 
about that! Try again next week! 

My Piece 



From The Beat: We couldn't publish your piece, Kianta, because you 
copied it from something you didn't write. The Beat is only interested in 
what YOU have to say, not what someone else has to say. Next time. 

I Will Stop... 

I sto 



I would never come to this place again. I will stop stealing, 
stop fighting, stop doing bad things to come back here. 


From The Beat: We hope you do stop doing the things that bring you 
here, Anthony. Your baby needs you at home! 



Never Again 

I will never let the juvenile barber again cut my hair! He 
messed my lines up for real. He got my shhh leaning to 
the side for real, like a McDonald's ...? 

-Lil' Cali 

From The Beat: We couldn't read the last word, and that's because you're 
not taking the time we give you either to think about what to write, or 
to write carefully. We're sorry the barber messed you up, but we hope 
you spend as much time worrying about what's inside your head as 
what's on it! 

I Want A Stable Life With My Wife And Child 

I like that you can sit by yourself (at the Ranch) to think 
about what you want to do in the next five years. I want to 
get married, have a baby, move out of the city, and start 
a new life. I want my life to be random. I want a stable 
family and my wife and child be there for each other. 


From The Beat: You're really changing from playing young ladies to 
hoping some day one special lady will create a family with you. Its fun 
to read your writings as you become a proud young man. 

Never Hit A Girl 

J L 

Me an' myself, personally, do not like hitting girls, and I 
would not advise nobody else to. I would not want nobody 
hitting on my mom or sister, nor family members, or my 
girls. So that's all I really got to say about that matter, an' 
I'm out. 

-Young Fly 

From The Beat: You could have said a lot more than this, YF. The title 
you gave us was "Never Again." Does that mean that you have hit girls 


^^— mnnnmam 

The Streets 

The streets is about making money, and if you don't got 
it, you ain't part of the streets. That ain't a good look bra. 
You got to get it while you can, But while you getting it, 
keep yo' thang or you ain't gone have it for long. 

-Yung Rell 

From The Beat: Too bad the "thang" you want to keep isn't your freedom, 
because obviously, that other "thang" hasn't proven very effective. Who's 
making that money now? 

JT, JOF Baby, Spider And Juan Talk About 
Prnprams They Wish They Had At The Ranch 

JT: Since I've been up here for another year or so, I think 
we should have home passes. If I got one, I would come 
back. A real man would stand up for what he did and do 
his time. 

If I was home, I'd be doin' nothin'. Sleep. 
We got no programs up here. This program weak. This 
program got me more crazy, and every day even more. 
JOF: We tryna get outta here. I wish we could learn 
trades — plumbing, electrician, carpentry. I need to learn 

S: I want to learn about cars. 

J: I want to learn about life and how to get a sexy mamasita 
from the barrio. 

- JT, JOF Baby, and Spider 

From The Beat: As in everything in life, if where you are — home, school, 
juvy, the Ranch, isn't teaching you what you need or want to know, you 
can research it out yourself. Read everything. Ask people who already 
know what you need to learn to teach you what they know. JOF-in the 
outs, ask an electrician if you can go with him when he installs wiring 
in a new house, or see if a bricklayer will show you how to apply the 
cement and level the bricks in a row. All of you-tell the counselors at 
the Ranch, along with the other young men, what programs you'd value 
at the Ranch. Demand to be taught everything you need to know! The 
counselors want more programs relevant to prepare you for work and 
life on the outs, but basically, it's on you! 

Just Stay Out Of Trouble 

Life Is More Thau A Party 

Since the day I was born, my momma always told me that 
I was special, that I was different from others. I always 
knew I was smart, but it never took a hold on me. I always 
been quiet and never really used to talk to people, but as 
I got older my momma told me that the more I get older, 
I'll start to realize that life is more than a party. 


From The Beat: We hope you're smart enough to realize how much more 
there is to life than partying — and how there are ways to party that 
don't put your freedom or your safety at risk. 


I was going to see my boyfriend when I got took off the 
bus by the police and they locked me up. Now I'm stuck 
up in a place I don't want to be. It feels like I got my 
freedom taken from me. It doesn't feel good to be locked 
up. I would rather be having fun or something, wouldn't 
you? Or would you rather be locked up in a place you 
don't want to be and get your freedom taken from you? 

Let me tell you, this is not the place to be, so just stay 
out of trouble and you won't end up in here. Just do right 
and you won't get you' freedom taken from you, like I did, 
and that's not good. So just do right and just stay out of 
trouble. Do it for yourself. Keep you' heads up. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you've learned an important lesson. What 
specific changes do you plan to make so that you never end up here 
again? What will you stop doing? What will you start doing? 

J L 

Next Thang Smoken 

What's good with The Beat? It's ya boy, Yung Chink, 
posted at the Ranch, holden it down, ya dig? But on a 
serious note, ya boy the next thang smoken out of this 
joint, ya heard? The streets been missing my absence, 
now it's time that my presence be felt. Back to the streets 
I go, feel me? I got major plans that need my attendance. 
My family miss me dearly. The block ain't the same 
without me. Slowly but surely, Yung Chink will be out 
there and back at it, like a crack addict. But, uh, Fma 
keep it pushen. Stay tuned 'til next week. 

-Yung Chink 

From The Beat: Once again you're writing that as soon as you're off 
the Ranch, you're going straight back to the streets. You do seem to be 
obsessed with them, maybe addicted — like a "crack addict." It seems 
clear that a crack addict is on their way down fast, and you compared 
that to yourself in the streets. If you get jacked back into juvy, or 
wounded or killed in the streeets, your family and your homies on 
the block are going to miss you for a real, real long time. So will your 
freedom and life. 


Equality Of Women 

Que ondas, Beat? Pues, simon. You know who this is — 
the one and only Grumpy, keepin' it firme, like always. 

As for the third topic, my perspective on the issue is 
that women and men should be treated equally, regardless. 
But, like in any situation, exceptions can be made, and 
what I mean by that is, if a woman is disrespecting 
herself by being an easy, lowdown hoodrata, pues, the 
woman should be treated by the equality of their actions, 
which is, in that case, with no respect at all, since they 
obviously don't respect themselves. As for myself, I have 
boundaries and morals that I highly value, and 1 make no 
exceptions to alter them. I hold resentment towards those 
jainas who don't, porque I work hard for respect, and in 
this society where women are already continuously being 
discriminated against, I don't need anything extra adding 
on to it. 

Pues, to all the jainas like myself, holdin' it down firme 
and doing the opposite of all these nasty hoodratas, keep 
doing what you do, que no? And to the hoodratas, open 
your eyes to reality and stop disrespecting yourselves, 
acting like jerks. Pues, that's all I gotta say. I'm out. 


From The Beat: What's interesting is how different people define 
"respect." You say you work hard for yours, and never compromise on 
your principles. But others might judge you by the fact that you are a 
guest of the county, and disrespect you for that. Those you describe as 
"hoodratas" may respect themselves for what they're doing, even if you 
disrespect them for it. Here's a question for you: Can you maintain your 
respect and your freedom at the same time? 

Shout Out September 9, 2008 

Usually in a topic like this, I'm known to expand in 
literature, and I know everybody is interested in hearing. 
But the thing is, I ain't feeling it tonight. And I don't say 
never anymore, because every time I do, it comes back to 
haunt me. 

What's good with everybody? I keep writing that real 
shhh. It's keeping me at ground zero on this war zone we 
call Earth. 

But on some real shhh, I'm preparing to grieve for all 
tha families who lost a loved one in the tragic September 
11th incident. I send my love y'all. Say up. 


From The Beat: We appreciate your tribute to the victims of 9/1 1 . And 
we would like to add our ongoing grief to the continuing tragedy on 
our mean streets, and our respects to those who are left behind. 


^^— mnnnmam 

I'm In Love With New Orleans... 
And Vincent 

I know. I know. Everybody says she always talking about 
New Orleans so much. Born and raised, Baby, you know. 
New Orleans, New Orleans, stand up. 

But let me talk about my love of my life, Vincent. He's 
my best friend. We can talk about everything. That's what 
love should be based on. Our love means everything. 
Words can't even explain. I mean, damn, don't hate 'cause 
you and your boo don't feel like us. No, he not from New 
Orleans, he is from San Francisco. Love you, boy. 

Back to the N.O. (New Orleans). Forget Katrina, she 
had my city underwater, but we bounced back, like it's 
nothing, ya heard me? We have haters, who wishes a boss 
didn't make it. Me, I just laugh. Say yeah, we made it. I'm 
the world's greatest. Two more months back in the N.O. 
The N.O., how you doing? My city is the best. Don't be 
mad, haters. New Orleans — the best trick, baby. 

I love my mama and daddy —iyra (mom,) and John 
(daddy). I love my sisters and brother. My two nieces, they 
mean everything. Tashira (big sister,) DeJorna (lil* sis,) 
Dwayane (lil' brother,) Tisher and Dana (nieces.) My boo, 
Vince, (boyfriend,) you always on my mind. 

John'Ta is my name and I don't play no games. 
Getting money, the only thing on my mind. Don't worry 
about haters — I laugh hard at them, so 1 hard, my head 
start spinning. Don't get me wrong, love your haters. With 
these haters I don't know what I'll do. I'm so famous. 
Nobody can take my spot. Tay is the boss. I'm hated by 
many. Ha! Ha! Ha! Tay is being hated Ha! Ha! Ha! New 

New Orleans! New Orleans! New Orleans! I told y'all 
I'm hated by many, and my city is the best of the best. 
New Orleans, Baby! 

-John' Ta 

From The Beat: Okay, we get it, you love New Orleans. But you haven't 
told us what's so special about your city. We lived in New Orleans 
ourselves, and we know what we loved about it, but we don't know 
what you love about it. Have you been back since Katrina? Do you 
know what the city looks like today? If "getting money" is the only 
thing on your mind, how do you have so much time to think about New 

I Might Get To Go Home 


Hey, Beat, this Banana. I went to court on Monday and 
they saying I might get to go home. Thank God. It's about 
time. I go back to court on 9/23/08. But, yeah, that's good, 
'cause I was not about to go to San Jose or 850. Forget all 
that grouper and jail shhh! I hate this jail stuff — how you 
get time if you' doing time, but that coo', 'cause am still 
on Step 4. But, yeah, to all, keep it up. 


From The Beat: We hope you will be home soon. Banana. But that's 
when things are back in your court — when you are in charge of your 
own choices. So make those choices wisely. 

Toi Hard In Feiales 


I think it's not fair for girls to go to jail. I think it is 
kind of unfair. The court people should just give us a 
chance. Sometimes people make wrong choices. I think 
sometimes people be too hard on females and just need 
to give us breaks. 


From The Beat: Are you saying that females should be treated differently 
from males? Why is that? What should the consequences be for those 
"wrong choices" you wrote about? 

Like I Always Do 

Yeah man I'm just out here doing ma time, tryna get out. 
They tryna play Spunkz though, like nine months in a 
grouper. But I ain't tripping. I'm just gone knock it out 
like I always do. I'ma get it how I live. 


From The Beat: If you're going to do things like you "always do," 
and you keep getting time, then maybe you should consider doing 
something different. Instead of just "knocking out" your time, why 
don't you use the time to study, to read, to learn as much as you can, 
and to prepare yourself so that you can stay free the next time you 
given that chance. 



I Don't Give A Damn Aboot Anyone Who 
Ain't My Peoples 

This Ranch shhh is weak as hell, dog, fo' real, and this 
shhh is hella weak, but I ain't trippin', I'm gonna be free 
soon, brotha. I see we gonna have a successful sista goin' 
to college — that's good to hear. But in my eyes, forget 
school. I'm a be me. I don't give a damn 'bout shhh, for if 
it ain't my own peeps or females, then forget yo' life. 

-D Boy 

From The Beat: Why do you divide the world between those who are 
and aren't your peoples? Don't you already know there are a whole lot 
of people out there you don't know yet, who could become your good 
friends and enrich your life, if you give them a chance? Why can't you be 
you and still go to school? You'd just be a better educated you! 


Barack Obama's Life Threatened 


In Denver, at the Democratic convention, Michelle 
Obama and her daughters were in a hotel. Four white 
guys showed up with automatic weapons and were tryin' 
to kill Barack Obama, but when the white guys showed 
up at Michele Obama's hotel room, Barack Obama was 
not there and the hotel manager called the police. When 
the police got there, they arrested the four white guys. 
They went to jail for one day and got out! But if it were 
black people, they would have went to the penitentiary 
with life. 

- Ja' Quan 

From The Beat: Some of your "facts" wrong (which is a reminder that 
you should always check the source of your information, and not rely on 
what others tell you — including us). Actually, three men were arrested 
in their truck with weapons, meth and vague threats against Obama. 
They never made it to any hotel at all, never got anywhere near Obama, 
Michelle or her children! The government does not believe these people 
posed any real threat to Obama. Of course, we have no doubt that many 
people would like to do harm to Obama, and that racism is still a very 
real force in America, but you have to be careful what you "report" to 
make sure it is true. 

The Equality Of Woman 

J L 

What's up Beat? This yo' boy still in this thang. Ha! Get 
at me. 

What make a woman different from a man? Well, for 
one, one sit down and one stand up... 

I really don't think political parties should be wary, 
but if a woman could run the house, the only thing that 
different that a woman have a different outlook on shhh. 
What if Sarah can do better then Obama? We don't know. 
We will find out. The only reason I feel this way 'cause my 

I mom is a strong black woman. 
-Terrance T 
From The Beat: Men can sit down, too, if they want to! Your comparison 
between Sarah and Obama is not exactly on the money since Obama is 
running for President and Sarah is only running for Vice-President. We 
like your belief in the equality of the sexes. You've seen how strong and 
capable your own mother is. But, of course, that doesn't tell us anything 
about Sarah... We're curious to know what your mom thinks of her. 


Never Again 

Never again will I let the police put they hands on me for 
real. They been doing too much, but it's nothin'. Ya boy 
still breathin'. They can't stop that never again, 

Never again will I put my life in harm's way. I"ll try and 
be more careful, you feel me? Never again will I step foot 
in Juvenile hall after this. No more because I'm eighteen, 
so it's straight to the county jails. 

Never again. 

This is a couple of things I'll never do again. Never 


From the Beat: When you say you'll try and be more careful, we worry 
that you mean you'll keep doing the things that lead you to lock-up, 
but you'll be more careful doing them. We hope we're wrong about that, 
because we know too many people doing too many years in too many 
prisons who thought they were doing things "more careful." If these are 
the things you'll never do again, what things might you be doing for 
the first time? 


What's poppin' Beat? It's yo' boy, Curt co-B, hit you with 
the no braina. I'm still in this thang, holdin' it down like I 
supposed to. Still no sights of a ninja from the jets sliding 
through the unit. 

I wait for this court date to pop up on the 11th so I can 
see if I'm going to the hut or not. 

But change... when I get out, I'm not messin' with hurt 
clown ninjas. I'ma slide through by myself, but that's my 
time. So until I see y'all again, stay up. 

-Curt Co-B 

From The Beat: You've just had a lucky break by beating your case. Why 
not take that as an opportunity to do some major house cleaning, and 
make the changes you know you have to make to stay free? 

Bush Is Osama Best Friend 

Well, Bush isn't really looking for Osama, he just want 
to start shhh. He like most ninjas on the street who start 
shhh just because the people they want to beef with all 
punks. Bush and Osama been friends, just like Bush Sr. 
and Saddam was friends. 

Now look where he (Saddam) at — shaking hands 
with his maker, ya dig? Osama snitched on Saddam in 
my eyes, because we found Saddam quick as hell, but for 
some reason, we can't find Osama. 


From The Beat: You know some things most people don't, such as that 
George Bush Sr. and Saddam Hussein were friends, and the US backed 
Iraq (and Saddam) las well as Iran) during the 1980-1988 Iran/Iraq 
war. You may be the first to allege that Osama snitched out Saddam's 
location to the US. How would Osama bin Laden know where Saddam 
was hiding, when the US forces found him? You have an absorbent and 
curious mind! Keep up investigating and challenging everything you're 
being taught! 

Bne Important Change 

One thing that I would change about my life is some of 
my friends. I'm in here for being with the wrong friends at 
the wrong time. Also, I think that there is no such thing 
as friends! They're going to stab you in the back when 
you least expect it! Trust no one but yourself! 


From The Beat: Actually, we don't see how you can go through life 
without finding at least one person to trust. Plus, we know that there 
are trustworthy people in the world. But in the end, you have to be the 
judge of the company you keep and you have to take responsibility for 
the choices you make. (By the way, Chuy, The Beat doesn't want you to 
write about all three topics; choose just one, and write as much as you 
can about that one.) 



Neier igaii 

Never again will I come back to the ice box. 
Never again would I hop in a stolen whip. 
Never again will I take pictures with a fat girl. 
Never again will I rob the pizza man. 
Never again will I put ma phone in my name. 
Never again will I sell cocaine. 


From the Beat: Except for the pictures with a fat girl (we don't have an 
opinion about that), if you keep the promises you make here to never 
do these things again, you have a much better chance of staying out of 
the box. If these are the things you won't do again, what are some of 
the things you will do? 

Ihej're Making Me Anjry 


I hate this place. I'm tired of this place. I'm fed up, done 
with this place. This place is so annoying, so irritating, 
so messed up, and so unfair. I'm about to go crazy. I'm 
talking about snapping in the craziest way. I'm a nice 
person, never been like this in my life. I have a good life, 
a great life. 

I would say this is the worst bullshhh thing that 
has ever happened to me so far, like an animal living in 
the wild, his own natural environment. Happy living a 
good life, until captured by the hunters, or should I say 
authorities. You got idiots with all that power operating 
this idiot system. They don't know anything. 

Stop messing with me! I'm serious. Take warnings 
from people who are serious! Stop messing with me. I 
don't want to turn into something I'm not. I have goals, 
positive things, plans, etc... Don't mess my life up. 

These people messed with me, in every worst possible 
way. Do they want me to erupt in anger and go off or 
something? They're driving me crazy. 


From the Beat: You know, Ramon, maybe they do want you to erupt in 
anger because they are prepared to deal with eruptions like that. So 
why give them what they want? The system can always exert more force 
than you, so why resort to that kind of thinking at all? What the system 
is not good at is dealing with intelligence, subtlety, and finesse. You are 
smart enough to bring all those qualities to the table, and we are here 
to tell you that they will get you much farther along the road you want 
to travel than any "eruptions" you make happen. As the song says in 
"Westside Story," — "Boy, boy, crazy boy... Stay cool boy!" 

You Gave My Daughter Life 


Never again I will try to go back to you 

I used to love you withy all of my heart 

'Til the day you and your selfish mind broke it apart 

I can't hate you for more, then I won't 

Only because you were the one who gave my daughter 


Your love for me was a terrible lie 

But the love for my daughter will never die 

For eternity it will survive 

Once you made me cry 

But that won't happen tonight 

And now that I think of you, my soul is terrified 

And to hear of you makes my happiness die 

And today you represent the biggest lie 

That's why I say to you 

Never again 

If I once said I love you, today there is a doubt 

And sometimes I think I may, but today I say good-bye 


From The Beat: Whatever happened between you and Lavelle s mother is 
for you and her to work out, or not. But in the meantime, you are both 
parents to this little girl, and she must come first in your relationship. 
Get your life back on track, and then be the father we know you can 


^^— mnnnmam 

Definition Of A Real Ninja 

Man, check this out, Beat. Y'all think y'all know what 
y'all be hollin' 'bout. Y'all say a real ninja takes care of 
his family — true; has the strength to do it alone — true; 
respects the value of human life-false, and I say that 
because I'm a ninja, an' according to karma, what goes 
around, comes around. 

I robbed a few people to take care of my family, an' if I 
gotta kill to make sure my family is safe, then I will, and 
like I said, "Mos' ninjas ain't real, mos' ninjas is fake. A 
real ninja take a murda, do the time, an' don't break, an' 
I say that, 'cause if you snitch, you gon' get killed, and if 
you go down fo' the next ninja' homi (homicide,) an' can't 
get out of it, you prolly deserve to be where you at, or 
God prolly put you there to help or hurt somebody, or get 
helped or hurt, ya dig?" 

My definition ain't the same as yours, 'cause we went 
through two totally different lifestyles. Y'all think we 
went through the same shhh, but blacks always had it 
worse, an' 'cause you get locked up, don't mean we got 
shhh in common, straight up. 

-Young Dunny 

From The Beat: We never mean disrespect, especially regarding the 
difference in lifestyles folks living (even within the same 5 mile area) 
experience. Karma is defined as action bringing about inevitable 
results in this life or a reincarnation, and is from Hindu and Bhuddist 
beliefs. Consider this: "Real" karma is not decided by people, but there 
will be an inevitable result for actions. To us this means that karma 
cannot really be used as a justification for revenge-because it isn't up 
to us to decide what is the inevitable result for our actions — we just 
know there is one. We met a man from Palestine (at the Ranch after 
a film was screened there) whose brother had been killed. He said 
he realized that even if he revenged his brothers death by killing 20 
people, it would not have been enough.. .no amount would be enough 
to satisfy his sorrow and rage. At that realization he began to seek 
reconciliation. Regardless of what ethnicity you are, if you are into 
anything that threatens yourself and the safety and lives of your family 
and your victims-including robbing people-you are not in the best 
position to help your family and yourself. 

I Need To Change My Mentality 

One important change I would change is my ways, 
because I know how I can get put away for a long time 
because of my behavior and my mentality against some 

I have a lot of resentment, anger, because of what 
people did to me in the past. Somebody shot me two 
years ago — my enemy. My mentality about my lifestyle is 
bad, because of what I do that's illegal. I'm working on my 
mentality and changing my lifestyle in a different way. 

-JOF Baby 

From The Beat: Your anger and resentment toward people who hurt 
you may very well be righteous, including any anger you also may have 
toward yourself for decisions you made that brought you to the Ranch. 
Whether you can ever "make it right" or "just", with your enemies, you 
won't be able to know, but it sounds like you're using your time wisely, 
thinking through what you're doing to yourself and your future. 

I Get Caught For Little Stuff 

I would like to change getting caught and goin' to the 
halls. I get caught for little shhh, and doing hella days. 
The system shouldn't take ya from the family just for 
some bullets. 

The fact that yo' PO go into your room, finding shhh 
that you forgot you had. Then you go to the halls and a 
group home. That some bullshhh, just for some old ass 


From The Beat: Well, who should be responsible for the things in your 
room? The price you're paying for not being responsible may be too 
high, in your mind, but should there be any price at all? If so, what? 

Ine Important Chance 


If I can change something, I would change the police 
'cause they be trying take innocent people to jail. And I 
would change how the community looked, 'cause stuff be 
looking hella grimy. 


From The Beat: Are you one of the "innocent" people in jail? How would 
you clean up the grime in your community? 

Be Cuul Out There! 

It's better on the outs than bein' in here 

With the beef where them hollows fly far in the air 

And ninjas don't care 

They don't even fight fair 

All they like to do is post on the block and breathe the 

block air And kill anybody and leave them on the floor 

With blood leaking outta any door 

They shot anybody even if you're poor 

So you better be cool when you walk out the door 


From The Beat: With your description of bullets flying and people dying, 
why do you say it's better out there than in here? 

One Important Change: No Police! 

If there was one change I could make, there would be less 
police because they wanna see black people locked up. 
Even the black ones is white! I don't know what it would 
be like with less police, but I know it would change. 


From The Beat: It's interesting to think about what would change if 
there were fewer — or no — police. What's your best guess? 

Never Again 


I do not want to be back in YGC. I am not going to say I 
won't do it again. I don't want to be here. I will not advise 
nobody to think YGC is good, because it is not. It is lock- 
down. You have to listen to everything that they say. It's 


From The Beat: (We hope we got your name right; you need to take care 
when you write it.) We agree with you that not wanting to be here is no 
guarantee that you won't be back, but we sure hope this is the last time. 
It may be "bullshhh," but you have to be responsible for the decisions 
you make that can put you into this "bullshhh." 

One Important Change 


One important change we need is to get rid of these police, 
'cause they be trying play the young black community. I 
ain't feeling it, feel me. 

-D Stacks 

From The Beat: Can you describe (honestly) what the community, the 
city and the country would be like without police? 

A Grimy Ninja 

Life been so hard these last few years. This jail stuff 
ain't no joke. The judge, the D.A. sometimes you' own 
family don't want you out the box sometimes. They got 
the nerves to call themselves family. I got something for 
that though. Damn I hate being a grimy ninja. 


From The Beat: It sounds like your having some difficult family problems, 
and we're sorry. You have to be your own motivation for getting out — 
and staying out — the box. 


^^— mnnnmaumma 

Small Little Things 

\ I'm Out 

If I could charge something in this would I would stop 
probation officers from being hard on probationers for 
small little things like curfew violations or maybe even 
on how sometimes they are being too rough just trying to 
do room search and trying to get you mad. 

Sometimes people end up getting locked up for the 
smallest little violations and it makes them look bad 
on their court days and can also make them restart 
probation and making probationers having more chances 
of getting locked up more and being in the system longer 
and making them look from bad to worst. 


From The Beat: Do your best, don't give any one any reason to lock you 
up! Don't let yourself go from bad to worse, it is in your control. 

Never Again 


I Need Advice 

I've Said Never Again Before 

Well, I've done a lot of stuff that I say never again. For 
instance, one time I got drunk and had a fat broad. The 
next day I'll say, "Oh shhh! Never again!" an the next 
time, I will do it again. What I'm trying to say is I'm hard- 
headed. I never learn. That's why I'm in here. 


From The Beat: Okay, so you're hard headed. But if you know it leads to 
places like this, why not work on that so that you can avoid future lock- 
ups? Maybe you should start with alcohol. If you drink to get drunk, 
you will always be getting into things that you later regret. 

Doesn't Know How To Drive 

I will not get locked up because I don't like it. I hate it 
here. I learned my lesson by being here. I've been here for 
like one week. I've been in here two times. 

The first time I was scared, but my brother told me 
not to be. So I stood up to be a man. I made it through and 
now I'm stuck in here. I'm stuck in here until my court 

I am doing good. I get out soon. I hope I don't come 
back. I don't want to see my older brother back in here 
because he don't like seeing me in here. 

-Baby Savage 

From The Beat: We hope you've learned your lesson as well. We don't 
like seeing any of you guys in there. And we hope you get out and do 
what you know is right regardless of what others might say or think. 
Good luck! 

Was up Beat it's me again I really need some advice. I got 
a lady and I'm wondering if she will stay faithful. I'm a be 
locked up for at least 10 more months. What do you think 
would happen? I'm falling in love with this girl. 


From The Beat: Trust us, after getting out, you will have many more 
years to live and have more relationships to experience. If we were you, 
we would focus in your current situation, and focus on the things you 
need to do to fix your mistakes. The most you can do now is be faithful 
to what your own heart tells you. 



What's up Beat one thing I don't ever want to do again 
is get in a hi speed chase with the cops with a driver who 
doesn't know how to drive. It gets you to almost die in 
the process. 


From The Beat: High speed chases often don't end well, especially for 
those being chased. 


Well today I going to write about that today is my last 
day in here. I will never come again cause I really didn't 
like it here. 

I'd rather eat fresh food made from my mom, not 
the county food. The food in here was nasty. Sometimes 
they'll give us ice cream all melted and the food all cold. 
The beans didn't taste good because they were all cold by 
the time they passed them out. 


From The Beat: That's exactly how it should be. It's jail not some vacation 
resort. If you don't like it... just remember how much it sucked being in 
there and do what you need to do to stay out of trouble. Peace. 


Never Again, Part II 

I hate to not be able to be there for my little homie 
getting pointed at, not being able to help him through 
these times. I'm worried for him, and I want a way to help 
him through these hard times. I got my other brother in 
here, but I'm worried, and never again will I let us hurt 
ourselves by not being there fore one another. 

It hurts me not being able to help him out. I'm here for 
you man. If you read this, I miss you and we always gonna 
be with you in this always. That is why never again. 


From The Beat: All we can add to what you've written, Bugzie, is that 
you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone 
else. Put your life back on track [as you have promised to do), and then 
you will be in a position to help your family, your homies... and your 

One Chance; Dard Time 

One chance is all I need, 

On the outs, I was filled with greed, 

Slangin', robbin', I was a thief, 

I Pulled over by the cops, he was a chief 
He pulled out F.I. cards and identified me, 
White shoes, jersey, white shirt, and Dickies 
He wrote it down, asked dispatch, "It's a positive I.D." 
Let him go, he's clean, go home and sleep, 
Four hours later, my house got raided in a blur, 
First time locked up for attempted murder, 

I I knew I got snitched on, 
As I'm in here, my life continues... 


From The Beat: We had to take out one phrase from this piece, 
Saetern, because we don't want you to incriminate yourself. One thing 
long experience has taught us: you can always count on someone to 
snitch you out, and that's true from the very least important crimes 
(like larceny) to the very most important ones (like murder or rape). 
Complaining about snitches is like complaining about the weather; it 
can't change anything. There's only one way to avoid getting snitched 
out, and that's not to give the snitch anything to talk about. 

Never Again 

Waz up Beatzizays, my topic is "never again." I 
remember once I was kicking back with da homies and 
we were drinking. Next thing you know, I saw a white kid 
screaming down the calle and started yelling at me. 

The homies were drunk, when we got up more white 
kids came and we had a rumble. The police showed up 
and took me to the hall so now I know I'm not gonna get 
drunk again. So I learned a lesson. 


From The Beat: It seems like a lot of the trouble you guys are getting 
into has something to do with drinking alcohol. Maybe not picking up 
those cans and bottles will solve some of the problems you guys are 
encountering. Just a thought! 


^^— mnnnmaumma 

Stay Away 

Hey waz up Beat. Well today I'm going to talk about what 
I won't never try to do again — that is talk to my ex lady 
because every time I talk to her or get next to her I end up 
here. So I should try to stay away from her. 


From The Beat: Something about the dynamic between the two of you 
must set you off. Its good to recognize so you can decide to not go 
there. Sometimes when our feelings are so intense it has something to 
do with our past relationships as well. 

No Matter What 


Well Beat, what's cracking. This is your boy Dopey from 
Gilroy. You no, Abstract, well ya to-days topic is "never 
again". So that's what I am writing about. 

Something that I would never do again is to hurt my 
family, because my family is important to me, because 
I they stuck by my side no matter what I do. That's what I 
family is for, to always be there for you. So I'd like to say, 
this G is out. 


From The Beat: How are you going to do that? What exactly are you 

L going to change about the way you live so you can be sure you do not 
hurt your family? 



What up Beat. It's Borracho from Milpas and today I'm 
gonna talk about drinking. 

I started drinking about every day when I turned 
14. The first drink I had was E&J. Ever since that day, I 
started drinking. I can't wait to get out and have one hole. 
18 pack to the dome. Well, to all the homies that are in 
the Hall keep your head up and one day we'll be hanging 
out without the P.O.s tripin. Stay up, I'll see you soon. 


From The Beat: So should we just give up on you? You have no other 
plans, wishes, desires, hopes for your life? Just borracho day in day 
out? Some people can't drink, for them "one is too many and a thousand 
not enough." Don't give up on yourself, give up on the alcohol. 

A Bad Trip 


What's up Beat, something I've done and will never do 
again is try shrums because my homies and me had a bad 
trip. I also heard about how bad it is for you and how it 
fries your brain. 


From The Beat: Drugs are just bad, period! They destroy the most 
powerful thing we have in our possession: our mind! So definitely stay 
off that path! 

For Now 

It's been two and a half months since I been here. I'm 
probably getting out in ten days, hopefully. I'm not quite 
sure what I'm going to do when I get out. 

A part of me wants to do good. You know, get a job, go 
to college. I graduated while I've been here so I don't have 
to worry about that when I get out. The other side of me 
wants to get out and mob on all my rivals, like I've always 
done. It's what I'm good at and I love the hood. For now, 
I'll be steady mobbin til further notice. 


From The Beat: We guess you'll have to change your name then because 
you won't be free for long. You must have been at least fairly good 
at school also in order to graduate. You're right, the choice is yours — 
which part of yourself will you feed? 

One Important Change 


I would change the crimes I did. Because now I can't get 
my record cleared. It's messed up though because I won't 
be able to get some jobs with it, and if I get pulled over or 
anything it'll come up. But I guess that's life for you, I feel 
even worse for the people with harder charges. Well I'm 
out stay up Beat.... LATE 


From The Beat: What jobs will you be able to get with it? Maybe it's 
worth a little research ahead of time, so you can plan a course of action. 
You can't change what you did, but you can decide what you will do. 

Never Leave My Hnmies 

Never again am I going to leave my family and never again 
am I gonna leave my homies. I'm always gonna stick by 
their side. 


From The Beat: You didn't really tell us anything in this lazy piece of 
writing, G, but we want to tell you something. There is no way you can 
stand by your family and your homies at the same time. Sooner or later, 
you will have to make a choice about who and what is more important 
to you. If you don't make that choice, the system will make it for you. 

Locked Up 

Well the thing I will never do again is taking the blame 
for my so-called "friends". I been in for two years because 
I have numerous charges and I'm stuck in group homes. 
Now I'm back, so yeah that is one of the things I would 

I never do again. 
-Baby D 
From The Beat: Its true that sometimes you take a hit for the people 
you hang out with, but what about the things you've done? Are you 
totally innocent, or did you make mistakes that led to your arrest? Its 
important to realize that hanging out with the wrong crowd can get you 
in trouble, but its equally important to take ownership of the fact that, 
ultimately, it's you that is responsible for the actions you take. No one's 
going to live this life for you. 



My Best Friend 

I have a best friend here. He is tall, big, and scary, and he 
ain't afraid of anybody. I really look up to him. He is my 
idol, but I am really scared because he might go to county 
and P.C. himself up because his old friends are looking 
for him. Oh well, life goes on. I just hope that in the end, 
everything works out for him. Well that's all I have to say 
for now until next time. 

-Missing My Friend 

From The Beat: We understand why you would miss your best friend, 
but it's harder for us to understand why someone who is "scary" and has 
to PC up to protect himself from enemies would be your "idol." If you 
idolize someone, there's a good chance you will want to follow him, and 
that doesn't sound like a very smart path to follow. Anyway, we wish 
both of you luck. 

I Know I Can Change 


What's up Beat? One important thing I want to change 
in my life is the way I live, because I don't think my life 
is going to take me anywhere. Even though changing is 
hard, I know I could do it, with the help of my family and 
the help of God. 

Also, even though I'm locked up, I still believe in God 
'cause I know he believes in me and forgives me for all the 
bad things I've done. Thank you God. 


From The Beat: Let your belief in God move you away from the things 
that bring you here, and toward a different future — grounded in 
school, legitimate work and the love of family. Yes, you can change, and 
wanting to means you've already started the process. 


.— mnnnmaumma 

Love Is Pain 

A Tale Of A Youster! 

Why is love so much pain? 

Sitting on the roof, staring at the stars - 

Thinking to myself how could I 

Have fallen for someone so hard 

When all I was told were lies. 

Now that I think about it, it makes me cry 

To know that someone I gave my heart to just tore it 


Why did this love have to start? 

Why does love have to be so much pain - 

Memories no one can take away. 

It's pain that I feel each and everyday. 

But I will pull myself through.... 

In real time I'll get over loving you. 


From the Beat: We hope you do. Ask yourself this simple question - why 
would you want to be with someone who did not enjoy your company. 
Stop punishing yourself. Move on. 



Still Here 


Once upon a time, there was a youngster that goes by the 
name of Lil Loco and he was born and raised in San Jose. 
He met this female they called lonely girl. He was very 
young at the time, and lonely girl was sixteen. They were 
an average teen couple besides the age differences. They 
started having sex. He wasn't thinking about pregnancy. 
They started having sex more frequently. 

One day lonely girl said she was pregnant. He was 
little worried at first, but then he was happy. They started 
having fights about during that period. They would get 
into fights for little things. They argued until the point 
that he despised her. 

One day, his girl got him so mad, and he kicked her 
out of his house. A couple days later, she said she had a 
miscarriage. At that point, was glad he could kick her out 
of his house.... To be continued. 

-Lil' L 

From The Beat: What type human being is Lil' L? How dare he kicked his 
girl out, when being pregnant with his kid in there? How can he be glad 
for doing this? Does he feel guilty? What a tremendous disappointment! 
He should be ashamed of such of action and not glad. 

Well this be sleepy from Santa Clara. Well I'm still here 
in here waiting for a group home. I've been here since the 
beginning of June, 2008 and I'm here until September, 

It was my birthday two days ago. Man, it sucks to be 
in here for my birthday man. I was hella mad. I wanted to 
be with my family and my grandmother, but I don't think 
I'm going to run. 

Well it's going hard, but I'm going to do it. Well to 
everyone in here do good and don't run from your program 
we much love and respect. 


From The Beat: Thanks for your advice. For the next time you know 
how it is to be in here for your birthday. Stay out and you'll enjoy them 

Never Coming Back 

Never Again 

Never again will I call you babe 

Never again will I feel your pain 

Never again my love you will gain 

F those days in the rain! 

I don't want you back 

You think you're a mack? 

Think you make racks? 

Your snhh is wack 

Makes me gack 

So screw you 

Never again will you get me back 

From the Beat: Well then - that's that III 



What up Beat it's Lil Silent from Gilroy. Today I'm going 
to write about what I'm never going to do and this is never 
coming back to Juvenile Hall. This is my first and last 
time. I'm turning 17 and when I get out I will be 18. So I 
really won't come back. 

I got locked up for something I didn't do, but it's all 
good, the cops are as crooked as the person they are 
chasing. I hate being in Juvenile Hall, there's no girls 
and no good food, so I'm never coming back. I hate being 
in my room, there's nothing to do but work out and read. 
This is just a big daycare and in like three months I will 
be going to summer camp, also known as the Ranch. Well 
I'm out, I don't know what else to write. 

-Lil Silent 

From The Beat: You seem to be determined not to come back into the 
system, because we guarantee jail is worse than "daycare" in the Hall, 
If you don't let yourself forget that, if you try to do the right thing, 
we're sure you'll be okay. 

Never Again! 

What's up Beat readers! I hope all of you are doing good 
and I also hope these couple of lines find you in good 
health and spirit! So they asked us if there is something 
that you have done only once that you will never, never do 
again? I would have to respond to that as negative! 

Everything that I've done more than once becomes 
a cycle that is difficult to break. I noticed that if I don't 
even try it can become a lifetime at things. What beats a 
failure? A try! Peace out 


From The Beat: So, how do you change your behavior? Is there no bad 
habit that you've managed to shake? 



The Difficulties If A Teen Parent 

You can't hang with your friend when you want, because 
you don't want to leave your kid at home. Don't try to 
argue with your girlfriend in front of your child, because 
you don't want him or her to see that. 

When I was younger, I came from a family of ten 
brothers and sisters. My older brother used to watch us, 
because my mom and my dad would go gambling. I didn't 
know any better, so I would do whatever they asked me 
to do, even it was to steal something from the store, or 
whatever. . . 

My dad and mom were teen parents themselves, my 
dad had to start dealing cocaine to provide for their kids. 
My mom was doing it with him too. They were in and out 
of jail. 

My mom went to jail. When she got out, I went to live 
with moms. My dad at the time was in prison and we'd go 
visit him. It was hard to provide for six kids. I've learned 
to wait to be a father, when I am good and ready. 


From The Beat: We are sorry for the type of life your family has provided 
to you. What's your story now? Are you going to repeat the same story? 
Use what you've seen and lived to better your life. To be opposite of 
what your parents were to you. Can you do that? 


^^— mnnnmaumma 

I'm still here 

As tears shed my heart aches. I feel a piece of me missing. 
It hurts me deeply. Pain so overwhelming it feels like it 
can't be real. It's just an illusion, but I do have to face the 
fact that I messed up. 

Time to face reality. It's my fault for everything you're 
going through, bro. I should have set a better example for 
you. I see the changes you're doing through. I hope and 
pray to God you'll just follow the right road. That stuff 
ain't worth it. You been locked up for way too long for 
some petty stuff. 

The system's corrupted. They bullshhh anyone, and 
once they get their hands on you, they won't let go. 

Brother, I love you so much. I hold you close to my 
heart. For you I would take 100 bullets without a single 
thought. I would give up everything if you could just see 
the potential that I do when I look at you. You're special. 
You can be somebody. Come on bro - do something 
positive with your life. I know you can do it. I believe in 
you. I'm here for you through laughter and tears. "Trust" 
I'll be there, just do your program. Prove them wrong. 

I'm going to set a better example. I say that a hundred, 
maybe thousand of times. It's a promise though, and 
those I'll always keep - "loyalty, trust, respect" always. 

I love you and miss you so much. Mama and me are 
proud of you for being a man and stepping up. You'll be 
home soon. Keep your head up and remember, I'm still 
here. We'll be home waiting for you when you get out for 
a fresh new start. Be strong. 


From the Beat: We hope he gets to read this. We don't encourage 
communication between individuals in the system, but this seems 
worthy of an exception. 

Stand Up 

It's A Bad Thing To Me 

Teen pregnancy to me isn't a bad thing. We were born 
to reproduce and God made us to have kids, and whether 
you want to have kid or not is up to you. 

I think it all depends on if your ready, positive and in 
love. Whether your 16 or 46 it's your choice. But if you do 
choose to become a dad or mom at any age, it's going to 
be a challenge mentally, physically, and punctually. 

You're going to have to feed the baby by putting 


From The Beat: You forgot to mention that in order to raise a child, you 
have to become RESPONSIBLE and be there for the kids needs. Do you 
have a child? If not, what type of a father would you be? 

I wanna live with my lady and my son and have a normal 

As a kid, I promised to hang with the homies and I 
believe you have to stay true to who you are no matter 
what, whether you become rich or not. 

I'm attracted to be kicking it and I like to be knowing 
for being down for whatever. I really wanna be with my 
lady and do all that being a husband to her and a father. 
I'm goin' to try to balance the two out. My mama didn't 
raise a coward, so I gotta stand up for myself. 


From The Beat: But you need to realize that if you go with what you 
are attracted to, you may lose what you love in your life. Your current 
situation is a great example. What are you going to balance out? Your 
'hood and your family? Those are two things that can never be mixed. 
Your 'hood is water, and your family is oil. They will not mix. You must 
choose, and use all the strength your Mama raised you with. 




Well what's cracking? My name is Richy from Gilroy. I've 
been locked up since January 8, 2006. 1 was sentenced to 
the Ranch and I ran. At that time, I thought it was cool to 
run, but now I regret it now because I'm now waiting for 
another months. 

I've been locked up for all my birthdays since I was 
twelve and I've been getting locked up since then. 

Now I think back about that first night with a couple 
of homeboys and I don't want to say their names but two 
of them are here. They know what's up. 

But yeah I really don't do too many drugs. I do weed 
and drink liquor, but I don't do no yola or crack or crystal. I 
don't mess with that but yeah I ran for a reason because 
I thought I was gonna get failed. 


From The Beat: You don't need strong drugs to destroy your life. Just 
take a look at how your life has been ever since you started messing 
with negative things. It seems like you made a mistake in running 
away. We think its time for you start over, a new life, a new you, a new 
environment. It's about time. 

If Only You Knew 

If only you knew how much I do love you 
I never really had the chance mija to show that I cared 
if I could see you once, then you'd know I'd be there. 
I don't really know what happened, why we broke this off. 
Maybe it happened too fast when we started it off. 
All I know is that I miss you. I don't see you anymore 
and when I'm hitting your cell you don't answer nomore 
and I don't even remember what we fighting for. 
So just out of no where we ain't tight nomore. 
Now everything around me ain't right nomore 
Mama everything is dark there ain't light nomore 
still think a whole a lot about you mama 
wondering what you doing wondering what you think about, 
look at what I'm losing, maybe you just scared 
cause I'm always on the street but I'd put it on pause 
just to chill with you yo, and I don't think you realize 
how much this messes me up so here's a poem for you ninja 

I just to say what's up! 

From The Beat: It's hard to have relationships with women when you're 
locked up. Take care of yourself, listen to what you know in your 

Never Again 

I'm never coming back! Never again! Well, actually, I'm 
not sure about that. I'm not sure because I said that last 
time I was here. I said I wasn't going to come back and 
that I was going to finish my probation and house arrest. 

I finally got released and got to my city - Gilroy. I was 
at my house for about 2 hours when my homie called 
me and asked me if I wanted to do good. But in like ten 
minutes I called him back and said to come to my pad and 
bring the Mary Jane. He came and we left. 

Since I left, I failed my house arrest. I failed everything 
and went on the run - within two and a half hours. Damn, 
I messed up fast. But this time, for real, I'm not coming 
back, ever again. (I think.) 


From The Beat: Well, you're the one who knows. It's certainly OK 
to wonder about your resolve. But it's not OK to surrender to your 
temptations. Train yourself to associate the words Mary Jane with jail. 
Mary Jane Means Jail. Say it over and over. Then ask yourself if jail is a 
price you're willing to pay for a few minutes of pleasure. The next time 
you're tempted, think what a wonderful experience it is to have to ask 
permission to speak, to pee, to move around. Think how wonderful jail 
is. Jail Is Mary Jane. Mary Jane Is Jail. Say it, over and over. 


^^— mnnnmaumma 

Roller Coaster 

Every Single Thing 

The thing I will never do again is to come back to the 
Ranch or hall. I've been here too many times and it ain't 
even worth it anymore. 

Another thing I didn't like and will never do is to get 
on a roller coaster drunk. I was hella sick when I got off 
and I think I threw up. It was a dumb idea. We snuck in 
Great America through a fence and I took a little bottle of 
drank in. It was a DUMB idea now that I think of it. 


From The Beat: It sure was. Is there anything else that you would like 
not to do that is affecting your life? 

HI' bit of both 

What's up Beat and Beat readers. Well I am going to write 
about never again and important change. 

Well never again: Never again I will not come here 
again 'cause this place SUCKS and I miss a lot of people. I 
miss my primos (cousins) that barely come out of the pin, 
and try to do their thang, but they go back, and I come 

I also miss my lady just not to be there with her. I 
don't know what she is doing or whom she is with, but 
she is probably not even doing nothing, but you get the 
thinking. So never again at this place at all. 

The important thing I want to change is my life, the 
way I am going in my life, the people I hang out with, the 
way I used to present myself to people and my habits. 

The most important things I want to change is my 
past cause I had a lot of chances in my past, but I did not 
take them. The most important thing in the past I want to 
change is the thing I pulled from my girlfriend. Man, I did 
a lot of stuff to my girlfriend to the point she will broke up 
with me. But she does not. But I want to change on past 
of her and for me. But that is the most important thing I 
want to change! 


From The Beat: You have good ideas. We also think it is time for you 
to make a BIG change in your life. Just stick with the things you said 
that you will not do, and positive things will go your way. You got the 
list of things you need to do in order to make a big change in your life. 
Don't forget them. Put them in action, and we guarantee a different and 
happier life. For sure! 

When I Get Out 

It's Hard 


When I get out I'm going to thank my dad for going to my 
courts and visiting me. Then I'm gonna try hard in school 
so he could thank my good behavior and not worry about 
me getting locked up again. 

- Termite 

From The Beat: Just stick to your plan Termite and stay out of trouble. 
It sounds like you really appreciate your Dads support. 

Today I'm gonna write about how hard is to raise a baby. 
It's easy to have a kid, but to raise it is kind of hard for a I 
gangster 'cause we have to start saving money and get a 
real job. 

We sometimes have to leave the drugs for it. And it's 
hard for a gangster to do that. And maybe we might have 
to leave the gang and for gangsters that's hard to do. 


From The Beat: Before having a kid, you need to think about what's 
more important between drugs, gang or a kid. Its hard to raise a child, 
but there will be a moment in your life when you will be pushed against 
the wall and decide what's more important, valuable, and worth it. 


The one important change that I am gonna do is to change 
every single thing I did in the past that wasn't right. It's 
hard, but I am willing to chase after what I want. 

I'm going to change my old lifestyle, because it's not 
right and I'm tired of it. I would rather live my life right, 
do good and be the best I can be instead of being here and 
hurting my family! 


From The Beat: Good thinking! You told us that you are going to change 
every single thing you did wrong from the past, but you didn't tell us 
what are those things. So, what are those things? 

Real Love 

Hey girl don't you know 

Money bust almost everything 

But it can't buy real love. 

I could have a million dollars but it won't buy me a thing 

Naw I ain't rich but I'll tell you one thing 

I' I could give you more happiness than money can bring. 

J L 

From The Beat: We had to edit. We don't think you can give anyone 
happiness until you get out of the hall, and not real happiness unless 
you stay out. 



II I Coild Chaige 1 Thing 

If I could change one thing in my life, I would change my 
family's wealth. I wish my family was rich, but still lived 
in the same 'hood that I'm from. 

I wish that my mom was not affiliated and she had a 
good job banking at least a hundred thousand dollars a 
year and I could grow up with money in my pocket. My 
mom would have a nice or at least decent car when I get 
dropped off at school. 

I could roll up in a nice car beating out with a nice 
stereo system and I would come to school dressed up 
like the first day of school, but every day I would be fitted 
up. I don't want like gold rings necklaces. I just want 
new shoes and brand new socks, boxers and pants and a 
brand new white tee everyday. That's what I would change 

I if I could change one thing. 

From The Beat: Your family doesn't need to be rich to have a nice house, 
a nice car, a better situation. What your family needs is an educated 
man with a good job that can provide all that with a lot of effort. That 
can be you. If you all that, you should start working hard to get 
Reach your desires! 



Not Returniig 

I hope I can be out by tomorrow. When you're locked 
I up it sucks, you know. But you go to get used to it. You 
might miss your fam bam, or your man, but you can't 
do anything about it. So the day that I'm going to get 
released, I'm going to be free. 

People said I'm going to come back in here. But if 
you keep your self busy and doing the good things you're 
doing, you're never going to come back in here. It's not 
that hard. Just keep your head in one thing that will work. 
But it has to be a good thing. But I know that I'm going to 
I do my program and go back to school, and I'm going to 
find a job to keep myself busy. So, I'm not going back to 

I my homies. 
-A free gal 

From the Beat: You sound very determined. Do your program. That's the 
key. You need to understand the roots of your behavior, and then, with 
hard work, you'll be A OK. 


^■^ mnnnmam 

Forgive Me Jefita 

Influence Good People into Bad Things 

Q-vole Beat. Well one thing I will never ever do again is 
hurt my jefita (mother) because when I got locked up my 
Jefita cried so as all the people that love me cried. 

When I saw my Jefita cry, I felt bad and I said to 
myself, "I have to stop hurting my Jefita. She was the one 
that put the clothes on my back. I love my Jefita. Forgive 
me Jefita," 

-LIT Blacky 

From The Beat: It seems like you are hurting a lot of people who care 
for you. Its time for a change. Its time to make her cry from happiness 
and pride. Consider that! 

Never Again 

Never again I'll I put myself in this place. 

I've been here too many times. Next time it's YA. 

I'm a child of God, this isn't for me. 

I hope to succeed. 

I pray and believe nobody knows me, 

but I go through the struggles. 

They hate on me 'cause all they see is my troubles. 

I will be the man wait and see. 

I come from Gilroy land of the G's. 

I know I'm not doing good. 

I'm just going through a phase 

but never again will I put myself in this place. 

-Smiley G 

From The Beat: We hope that PHASE ends soon before you end up in 
a worse situation. How are you going to prevent coming to this place 
again, living in the land of G's and thinking like a G? Do you know 
where the real G's are? You should know. 

My Time 

Well I'm a talk about my time and other things I remember 
my buddy little buddah write about this subject a min 

Well check this out. I gotta go to the Ranch also but 
I'm a go to James and you know who this is your body 
Travieso, coming straight here. I'm still staying strong 
taking care of business. Well but this time I gotta complete 
my program and get off probation. 

Well my baby's mom is gonna let me name my war 
soldier at least that's what she says. She better not be 
wolfing 'cause then I'll have to smash. 

Well damn my kid will be 7 months when I get out. My 
grandma is gonna buy him some clothes and small ass 
shoes. Man can't wait to see him. 


From The Beat: You are acting as if you were happy with the life you 
have. You're not a kid anymore. You're a grown up who has a kid and 
whose kid needs a father. Don't make this baby a "war soldier," what 
a way to start out in life! Look where it got you, locked in one cage 
after another. Smash? It just gets worse. Think and dream and think 
harder — you need to figure stuff out. 

It's My Family That Suffers 

Q-vole with The Beat. Well if I could change anything 
it would be my wicked ways because every time I get in 
trouble, I'm not the one that suffers. It's my family that 
suffers for my shhh. 

It's the way of my life I'm living. The wicked life it's 
not too easy to change once you're in the game. 


From The Beat: You're at a point in your life where you will have to 
make a decision. If you don't want your family to suffer, you have to 
stop your wicked ways. Easy or not, its the only way not to make your 
family suffer. 


I will never be associates of a group robbing a pizza hut 
Main street. I am going to stop hanging out with people 
who are doing bad things in the streets. I am also not 
going to come back to Juvie. 

If I could change something it would be gangs, 
because they just make the streets a bad place to be in, 
and influence good people into bad things. 

I think the reason a women is running for vice 
president is because there is a black male for president 
so it brings more attention to their party. 

-Leaving for Good 

From The Beat: Those are good ideas. We know for sure that you may 
not change everything you would like to have changed in life, but you 
can start by changing your ways of thinking, acting, and stop hanging 
with bad influences. That could be a good start for you. We agree about 

the candidates. 




Today I show my respect to the people that died on 
September 11, 2001. I watch the real movie and it was 
very sad seeing the planes crash into the towers and 
seeing people jump out of the tower to survive. Because 
of that now I hate terrorists. If I see them it's smash on 
sight. So for the people that lost relatives I'm showing 
my respects. 


From The Beat: It was a real tragedy, and the people who did it are 
horrible people. But they didn't come from nowhere. There's a little bit 
of that evil in everyone, and it's our job to fight it. Poverty, murder, 
crime, disease, all stuff that could be prevented, will kill more people this 
9/1 1 (and every day) than they did that day. It's not just about fighting 
people that commit crimes, but doing what we can for everyone. 



Never Run From Your Problems 

Q vole Beat how you been? Well this is M once again just 
here chilling like a cruel loco. Well today I'm just going to 
write today's topic, never again. 

The one and only thing that I will never do again is 
run from the Ranch. I could have been out already by this 
month coming up which is October. I think it's stupid 
because it's not worth it. You're going to get caught up 
sooner or later. 

One more thing before I leave for all those Beat 
readers, never run from your problems. Arato. 


From The Beat: We are glad that you learned your lesson. So for the 
next time, would you do things right? If so, what? 

Teen Pregnancy 


I think teen pregnancy is a big deal where I live in my 
community. A lot of my friends are already going to be 
parents. Many Mexican teen in my community are mostly 
sexual active and it's the thing to do when you're a teen 
'cause your hormones are ragging. 

When I get out, I'm going to see my lady and my family. 
I am incarcerated for something I didn't even do. I am still 
doing the time though and fighting the case. 

I miss all the freedom I had on the outs. There are a 
lot of things that I miss doing like just taking a walk, even 
using the phone is a thing you can't do whenever you 


From The Beat: Thank you for opinions in this topic. What do you 
think would help the young people in your community to avoid getting 
pregnant? Is there a lack of communications? Ignorance? What? We 
hope you get out soon. Try to stay out from the wrong places and to 
stop hanging with the wrong people to avoid coming here. 


^■^ mnnnmam 

Never Again 

Hey what's up Beat? Pos today topic is never again. I 
will never fall in love with Galilea. Nah, I am just playing 
around. I never gonna fall into drugs, because I was losing 
my family because of drug. That's why I will never fall into 
drugs anymore. And I will never come back to the system 
never again. 

So Beat, that's it for today. 


From The Beat: It's hard, but not impossible. To make this happen, you 
need plans that need to be followed through. What are those plans? 
What are you willing to give up for this change? 

My Life and Hnw I Live It 

Cnunt My Friends on One Hand 

What it do Beat, this your boy BayBoy finally in B-3. 
Today's topic is never again. Well I don't think I can ever 
trust anyone again. For me to really call you a friend I 
have to really trust you and nowadays you can't do that. 

People nowadays say they're your friend but when it 
comes down to it they will stab you in your back. That's 
why when I call someone a friend it's a big deal. I can 
count my friends on one hand. I'm talking about real 
friends that have my back, not people that I just know. 
So I might have taken it too far saying never but it takes 
a lot to earn my trust. 


From The Beat: Trusting people is hard sometimes, and its good that 
you don't trust just anyone. But if you're too careful about it, you may 
find yourself alone. 

What's crackin Beat, it's "the tank" once again just 
posted. But I wish that I could have been the type of 
kid that comes into the Juvenile Hall their first time and 
says "I'm never coming back again" and they really don't. 
Those are the type that get off probation and do good. 

I know why I can't be like that though, because of the 
way I live and the way I was raised. But I love my life and 
how I live it. That's it for this week to my familia stay up 
and strong. Alrato. 


From The Beat: You can say you won't, but you never can say you can't 
do it. That doesn't mean it's easy, but what you do is never out of your 
control. Why would you wish you were the type of kid who gets off 
probation and does good, if you didn't mean it? How much of that life 
do you actually get to enjoyif you're always locked up? 

Never Get Caught Up For It Again 

Hey Beat this Blackbird coming at you again from B-3. 
Well today I'm writing about something I would never do 
again. The thing that I would never do again is steal a car. 
I would never do that again because I always get caught 
up for it now. 

Before I would always shake 5-0. But now before I 
drive I always pray. And when that happens I always see 
5-0 and drive past him and he doesn't do nothing. But 
the second time I always get pulled over or go on a high 
speed with them, but I'm not tripping. So yeah, that's 
something that I would never do again, so thanks Beat for 
your time but I gotta dip. 


From The Beat: Big things are pretty hard to get away with because 
they're not victimless crimes. Someone ultimately loses the car. Even 
if the person gets insurance money, then either the insurance company 
(and the people working for the insurance company may lose their 
jobs - and its rarely the rich people that do) or everyone's insurance 
payments go up, and everyone loses. 

The Equality Of Women 

I think that there should be equal rights like there is 
right now for women. If a woman wants a "man's" job, 
that's cool. 

But in being a soldier in war, women are some of 
the strongest soldiers in life, but in combat, what if the 
woman gets captured by the enemy? No one knows what 
the enemy would do to her. 

In certain areas men are stronger than women, but 
in other areas, women are stronger than men. Now if the 
man stays home to take care of the baby, cooks, cleans, 
that's cool if the woman makes more money than the 
man, but if not, I feel that the woman should stay home 
and take care of the baby and be the mother, unless the 
family has enough money to hire a nanny, then they can 
both work. 

The point is who would be a better mother, a man or a 
woman? For me, growing up, my mom cooked and cleaned 
the house, my dad fixed things worked on the yard. My 
dad was the one who disciplined me and my brother and 
my mom was the one who loved us. They both worked, 
but my father had a college education thanks to my mom. 
She put him through college. Once he graduated, they had 
kids, my mom stayed home and took care of us. My dad 
worked because he made more money, if a man wants to 
do jobs that women did in the past, like work at a beauty 
salon, that's cool. I just wouldn't do that. 


From The Beat: Thank you for your opinion. It's a fair opinion and right 
to consider. If you have the most wanted family at home, what are you 
doing here? If seems like your parents supported each other to succeed 
and they succeeded. Would you be like them with your future family? 


Lift Me Up 

Never again will I mess up in life. Everyday that I'm out, 
I encounter new things. Things that can either bring me 
down or lift me up. Life is a battle, and I will fight to the 
end. It is better to fight and keep fighting than to give up. 
I encourage people to be smart about who they hang out 
with because your best friends can turn into your worst 

Don't believe anything you hear and half the things 
you see. There are a lot of smack talkers and back 
stabbers out there. Talk is cheap. 

Never again will I make an incorrect decision about 
anything I do. Never again will I make an incorrect 
decision about whom I hang out with. To everybody who 
knows me, in here or on the outs, stay up and talk is 


From The Beat: You seem resolute in never making a bad decision, but 
we ask you kindly to not be too hard on yourself. We hope you'll grow 
to accept that mistakes are a part of life and spend more emotional 
energy towards making the decisions that help you to accomplish goals 
and to enjoy the friends and family who don't talk cheap. 



J L 

Whatup Beat! This is that sick homeboy, coming outta 
B-3. Something that I have done that I will never do again 
is smoke PCP. I was chilling at the homie's house and the 
older homegirl was smoking and I was drunk so I hit it. 
And ten minutes later I was hella lit, and I couldn't even 
walk so I stayed at my homie's pad. That was the last 
time I'll ever do it again. 


From The Beat: PCP is very dangerous, as you know. But you almost 
always have the choice of what goes into your mouth. So be careful. 


^^— mnnnmaumma 

Never again Do What I Did 

The two things that I have done and I don't want to ever 
do the same stuff anymore because I want to just get off 
probation and finish all my programs and meetings that I 
have to do. Those two things are violating and leaving out 
of the county while I am on probation. 

I also want to stay out of juvenile hall because I have 
a four-month-old son that I want to do right for so that I 
can get him back. The only reason why I won't do these 
things anymore is because I can't stand to be locked up 
and not around my son or family while I am locked up. 


From The Beat: Being there for your child and "doing right for him" 
are great reasons to stick to your resolution not to violate parole. We 
don't know why you got locked up in the first place, but we hope that 
whatever it is, its also included on the list of things you'll never do 

My Heart Hirts, Never Agaii... 


...will I let a man get to my heart. I just found out that my 
man's leaving me and going to Mexico with his tia! Guess 
what? I'm pregnant with his kid. 

I barely came in last night and found out this shhh. 
He told me he wrote me the day I got locked up and I 
thought it was cute, until he said I won't like the letter. 
Supposedly he loves me and really cares, but he wants 
me to have an abortion because he wants to be there for 
our baby, but he knows he's not going to be able to! We 
had this talk twice already. I told him I wasn't going to 
have one. I want my kid (my little Pancho), but I also want 
my baby to have a dad that's there. 

He made a promise straight to my face that he was 
going to be there for our baby! I really do care for him and 
I want to be with him and I know if he wasn't leaving he 
would want our kid, but his abstract mind is talking him 
into getting away! 

I'm keeping our kid because it's my baby too. If he 
wants to see his kid, he could because he's my man, my 
love, and my baby's dad! And yes, I do love him. 


From the Beat: This is a hard situation you're in. It sounds like you're 
being realistic about the fact that your baby's daddy probably isn't 
going to be there for you or your child. Raising a child alone is not an 
easy thing to do and we hope you have the support of your family and 
friends to help you out. 


Coming To Juvenile, Never Again! 

The day my whole life changed was a hot day in 
September. It all started with an argument with my mom 
and ended up in Juvenile Hall. 

I hurt my mom by throwing something at her and got 
charged with something not too good. If I could take it all 
back I would. I'd never do what I did again, let alone ever 
do it again. 

Coming to juvenile hall was an experience I'm going 
to never forget. The cement beds, the food, the people 
aren't all that bad; but still, being locked up sucks. I 
wish I could go home, but only me improving is going to 
do that. Hopefully that will happen and I'll be out with 
my family and friends. Never again am I going to make 
another mistake that takes me away from my loved ones 
or away from freedom. Never Again. 


From The Beat: You know what we like about your piece here, Jackly? 
The fact that you take ownership of your life. You're honest about what 
got you locked up instead of blaming other people, and you make a vow 
never to make the same mistake again. We hope you keep that vow, 
because the ability to learn from one's own mistakes is an admirable 
trait, and we think you'll go far if you just stay true to yourself. 


Never Again Will I come Here 

Hey what's good? Never again will I come back here. I 
will never take something from anybody cause it gets 
me here. I can't live here cause I miss my mom, my lil' 
brother and my love of my life, Silent. This is my first and 
last time coming here. All I have to say is that never again 
will they see me here.... 


From The Beat: It sounds like you're clear on "cause and effect." Keep 
that clarity once you're on the outs, and we're betting that you'll be able 
to stay there for good! 


Coming to juvenile hall 
was an experience I'm 
going to never forget. 

Prill II Mj 111] loi 

What's up Beat? Nothing really happened in here. It's 
hella lame and plus, my baby boo got out the day I got 
in and I haven't seen him in like 6 months. I miss him 
so much and I'm hella proud of him. He got out with no 
probation and he got his G.E.D and he is going to a place 
to help him get a career. I love this man so much, on the 
real. He is my everything. I love him! 

II just can't wait to get out and hold him and start a 
family with him later down the road and get our own place 
and everything. Well, stay up everyone, and don't let court 
get you down because they can't keep you in here forever. 
Much love to all. 

- Jazzy Bob 

From The Beat: We're glad to hear that your man has gotten his life 
together and is on the right track. It sounds like he's put some hard 
work into it. What about you? Are you making an equal effort to get 
your G.E.D. (if you don't have it already)? Are you figuring out a way to 
start your career? 

Never Again Will I Vinlate 

-i L 

What's good wit' you, Beat. This is Giggles. Well damn, 
something that I did that I will never do again is break 
into somebody's house. I did it once and got caught for it 
because I left my school I-D on the couch. 

Damn, that was a crazy-ass day. I was with my 
homeboys, just chilling in somebody else's house, 
drinking their beer and seeing what we could come up on 
and shhh. I let my home boys take all the shhh, too, and 
took the blame for them. But it's cool, I ain't trippin' and 
just won't do that shhh again, even though we had hella 

It's not cool, though, 'cause I know if some sucka 
broke into my house I wouldn't like it and it would be all 
bad. But this is it for now. 


From The Beat: Its hard for us to tell if you really mean it when you say 
you won't break into someone's house again. On the one hand, you do 
acknowledge that if it was you that had your house broken into, you'd be 
really upset. On the other hand, your attitude seems to suggest that its 
all good because you were just having fun. We think there are probably 
other negative consequences that resulted from your "fun." What effect 
has being locked up had on you, for example, or on your family? Is this 
the way you want to spend your life? Because a commitment to do right 
won't mean much unless you're really serious about it. 

^■^ mnnnmam 

Can't Wait To Get Home 


Role of Women 

I think women should accept their role and not try to get 
paid more for stuff they don't even work hard for. Nothing 
compares to a hard-working man who breaks a sweat to 
earn a little change. 


From The Beat: We like to share some facts with you. In Asia, women are 
to 70-80% of the labor force. Worldwide, women work professionally and 
are responsible for household duties as well as childcare. On average, a 
woman works at least 8 hours more a week than a man. We respect the 
contributions from both men and women in the workforce. 

Never Again 

A watz crackin' Beat, this is Richy again from Gilroy. I 
wanna say that the thing I will never do again is steal a 
car. The first time I ever stole a car was with a couple of 
homies whose names I don't wanna mention. It was at 
night and me and three other homies were high and we 
were bored and we'd seen a Toyota Camry and that was 
when I was twelve so I ain't gonna lie, I was kind scared. 

I didn't know how to, so the older homie was like let 
me see. I was like aight. It started and the lights turned 
on. I was like homie here. I got out and he jumped in and 
I jumped in on the other side, and we went to the corner 
and picked up the rest of the homies. 

Later we started to race up in the hills and the car 
died out, and we had to wait, and then we stopped at a 
house to get water for the car. Then the cops came, and 
that is why I will never want to steal another car. The 

-Richy Gilroy 

From The Beat: What are you thinking you'll do now when you are bored 
and hanging out? Look ahead and try to make new decisions about how 
to set yourself up to make better choices — so you don't find yourself in 
the same situation. 

Hey wats crackin' Beat, this be Richy from Gilroy. I'm 
hella mad today because my homeboy just went to his 
group home. 

But yeah I was hella mad because I gotta do another 
nine months before I'm gonna go back to a different 

I hope my sister stays up. I just wanna tell her I love 
her and to keep her head up and stay strong, aight, and I 
want to tell my Mom that I love her and to write me, aight 

-Richy Gilroy 

From The Beat: Gotta get it together Richy. Formulate some real plans 
for when you get out. 

"He Cries On The Inside But Shows No Emotion" 

I had a dream about my girl last night. We were at this 
weird place but I can't remember where. She ran over to 
me and started to cry on my chest and she was mumbling 
something about me never coming back. I could feel her 
tears and her pain. 

I woke up with water in my eyes. I didn't feel sad 
but I guess the dream-triggered tears. That was probably 
the most depressing moment I ever had in my 19 months 
being locked up. Why did this happen? I have been 
pondering this question all day. 

-Anonymous Dreamer 1 

From The Beat: Sounds like a "wake up" call. Translation: you're hurting 
more than just you when you get into trouble. Who else do you think is 
hurting due to you being locked up? 



One thing I will never do again is walk up to someone 
that calls me to come to them when I don't know them, 
when I'm with my lady or family. I will never do that again 
because the last time I did that I got jumped in front of 
my lady. 

When they jumped me they took my shoes and started 
stomping on my head and kicking me. Really I didn't 
care that they were kicking my a## but I was hoping they 
didn't hit my lady. 

They didn't touch her and I'm glad they didn't hit her. 
One thing I learned that day is that not everyone cares, 
because I was getting jumped outside a store, and no one 
bothered to help. So that's one thing I will never do again, 
because I could be risking one of my loved one's life. Well 
that's it I guess. So, later Beat. 


From The Beat: Wow, that's crucial. We're glad you were able to walk 
away from that situation. What's bad is that no one bothered to help 
you out. On another note, if you saw someone getting jumped would 
you help that person? The people doing the jumping could be strapped 
which means you could be risking your life by getting involved. We 
bring up this point to say that maybe no one helped you out because 
they were afraid of putting their life in harms way. Just a thought. Keep 
your head up man. 

Good Times 


Life, you only get one. Making choices every minute 
Some smart, some you wish you could change. Regret 
of a memory just around the corner. Never again will I do 
this and that. 

With me I don't think I can ever go back to a funeral. 
Funeral brings depression, depression leads to regrets. 
The person who has lost their lives probably would not 
want people crying over their body. They should be happy 
for the memories they had with one another. 

Me and many others don't like the feeling of mourning 
over somebody. Remembering good times not the way 
they died. Never again will I go to a funeral. People crying 
around me and people talking behind me remembering 
good times. Never again will I go to a funeral. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you had a hard time. We think part of the 
idea behind funerals is that they are a way for the people who loved 
the one who died to come together and mourn together, so that peopl< 

don't have to deal with it alone. 

Become Someone 



Something I will never do again is hit my mother. I was 
drunk and she was nagging me, and it set me off, and 
I scared her. Now she's afraid of me and I can't take it 
back. It kills me to know that she's afraid of me. My mom 
forgave me a long time ago, but I can't forgive myself. 

Thank you mom for always being there for me no 
matter what, no matter what I did to you, you were still 
there for me, waiting for me to come home. I'm sorry for 
the pain I caused you and I want to make it up to you. I 
promise this is the last time I'm going to get locked up. 

Thank you mom! I love you! 

When I get out of here and into my group home, I 
want to do the program to get off probation and be able 
to go home and live in peace with my mom and sister and 
to be able to be with my lady. When I get done with all of 
this, I want to go to a regular high school and become 


From The Beat: What more can be said? Everyone who reads this should 
be able to feel you. We hope you follow through on your goals. Maybe 
you shouldn't drink alcohol. Good luck Andrew. 


:M.M*kd?i MMWMMimfi t // / 


We are all protectors lookin' for some love, 
but watch your step or you might get scraped. 
Twenty four seven the dead walk the streets. 
It's a concrete jungle out there. 
Sometimes I wonder how I keep from going under. 
You can hear voices as people continue to creep. 


From The Beat: You can make up a different set of voices, a whole chorus 
of good music and wise advice. Its not that you haven't heard good stuff 
before. But now its time to listen to only the wisest voices, the best 
music. As the old TV show used to remind us: This Is Your Life. So, what 
you gonna do with it? Its mostly your call. 

Are You Ready? 


If you are ready to have a baby and all the responsibility 
that comes with it, then it's fine to have a baby. Just 
remember - no more stackin' up money, 'cause you got a I 
new mouth to feed. 

I'm not going to have a kid 'til I'm ready and am able 
to be the best father possible. I know how it feels not to 
have a father, so I'll never show cowardice and abandon 
my baby. So, until I'm ready, I'll use protection. 


From The Beat: Good. Period. Good. Double period.. 

Life's Like A Map 

Life's like a map. 

What direction you gonna take? 

People get scarred. 

Wrong block. Wrong time. 

It's all part of the gang bang. 

Nothing but aggression comes your way. 

Live pain. Live evil. It's all the same. 

Got to stay in shape. 

Bustin' down the machine to stay stress free. 

My mind's playing games on me. 

I feel it fogging up on me 

and then I black out and I can't see. 

Hours pass by and I commit more crimes. 

Slowly on a rise, selling nickels and dimes. 

Take a trip into my mind and this is what you find: 

straight loc bangin', bustin' home invasions, 

wearin' a mask hitting corners, 

trying to lose the cops real fast in the night. 

I hide like a spider in a web, 

trying to stay on the lolo from the popo. 

Right now I'm living in a storm, 

but soon it will be over. 

-From My Mind 

From The Beat: Those are nasty games your mind is playing. But this is 
good writing. 

War Stories 

I've lived war stories since I was a kid. I was taught 
that silence is the number one rule of the game. Your 
word means honor. You can't be unreliable. Got to stand 
strong. Don't let anyone break you. You are guilty until 
proven innocent. 

I'm only 16 and they're trying to send me off to the 
state pen. But my garden keeps growing. 


From The Beat: What are you planting in that garden, Alex? To get a 
good crop, you have to plant the right seeds, and take care of the land. 
Tell us about your garden. 


//// // 

What Could They Have Done Differently 

Well, to be honest, nothing. My mom and dad worked 
hard, seven days a week. But my father used to be drunk 
in his spare time. 

Since I was a little kid I watched my dad beat on my 
mom. I was too little to do anything until I got older. 
Then we'd get into fights and shhh. And I grew up in a 
neighborhood where there were drugs, gangs and a lot of 

Most of my family members were from a local barrio 
gang, so I felt like I only had one way to live. I grew up 
thinking violence was alright. But in reality, it all came 
down to me. I made the choice to do wrong - not my mom 
and dad. They tried. But life's life. Live while you can. 


From The Beat: Well, here you are. You've had to learn too much the 
hard way. But even though your choices are limited for now, there's 
a lot you can do to make your life more meaningful than ever. We're 
thinking out loud, but what if you were to write an open letter to the 
young people in your neighborhood. In the letter you would talk about 
what you've been through and how they can avoid the mistakes you've 
made. Who could speak to these kids better than you? You'd need to do 
some heavy thinking about what you wanted to say, and you'd have to 
be very, very honest. If you're interested, talk with us the next time we 
see you. We'll help you. 



Becoming A Teen 

When I first became a teen, I didn't know what I wanted 
it to be like. At first I hung out on the corner and kicked 
it with the homies. But in time, you get jumped in and 
then you start putting in work. You get caught up and 
then you start coming in and out of the hall. And it sucks, 
because you lose your family and loved ones and then 
some of your homies forget about you. And some of them 
get more time than you do. 

I'm only 17 and I've been caught for sales and then 
for a 211 and a 254 and I got a strike. It sucks, because 
there are many things you can't do anymore. So, before 
you join a gang, think if you're ready to lose people that 
you love. 

-Hard Life 

From The Beat: Thank you for this honest short history of your life. 
What might have made a difference for you? What opportunities came 
along that you ignored because you wanted to 'fit in'? We'd love it if 
you would make a list of things that could make a positive difference 
younger kids in your neighborhood who might be tempted to follow 
your footsteps. Make that list and give it to us, please. 


t if 

Not Expected 

When far, seem near. 

When near, seem far. 

Show where you're not expected 

and control yourself. 

Be an example. 

Be a chameleon. 


From The Beat: Terrific poem. Fine example of making every word 

I Know Teen Pregnancy 


I think teen pregnancy is a crazy experience. I've been 
through it and it's hard. Me and my girlfriend struggle to 
buy our baby diapers, and my life is much different now. 
I can't play around and party and we can't kick it with my 

-A young dad 

From The Beat: Being a dad changes so much. But your baby is worth 
whatever you have to do to make his/her life safe and healthy. The 
rewards will follow. Being a good dad beats partying, anytime. 


&MnnnnnE mmm / / 

7mtmmmmmmmm "* // 

Let Me Live 

Law Enforcement Is Too Hard And Rough 

Let me live my own life. Stay out of my way. I could tell 
by the way that you look, you got something to say. But 
you knowing about me, I ain't going to say a thing. So 
what's even the point of thinking it, mayne? 

Marks and cowards getting choosed by these thugs. 
Only God can judge me, so don't say nothing. I'm going 
to do what I do, because that's what I do best. Running 
through these streets, representing my side. A young 
homie coming up in this game, looking at life a whole 
different way. I see the hate and despise all, because I'm 
shining in the light. Running through the city, throwing 
up my flag. You'll be surprised. How long will you laugh? 
The downest homie can go all bad. At the end, who has 
the last laugh? Whatever I do, I don't want you to judge 
me. It just ain't cool. 


From The Beat: Maybe ultimately, God will judge you and us all, but 
in the meantime court judges, police, your family, homies, and even 
strangers will judge you everyday, by instinct, to figure out if its safe 
to trust you. How is your crew, the ones who represent the same flag 
as you, supporting you now that you're in juvy? Do they help out your 
family? Write you? Accept your collect phone calls? You're right, the 
downest homie can go all bad, so be careful, and don't you let that bad 
homie be you. Nobody will laugh then, most of all you. 

Dear Friends 

That goon, Obie, gettin' shipped out of state. I'm going 
to Wyoming on Monday. I'm a continue to (gangbang), 
because being in the (gang) is a full-time job. Obie One, 
I'm washed down in the dirt. I'm come back (bangin'). I'm 
a man of mah word, so wait for me. I'll be back in the 
'hood with mah (gang) life on mah shoulder, so holla for 
me and put "Free Obie" on the Space and have females 
ready fo' me. 

-Obie One 

From The Beat: Maybe going to Wyoming is the best thing that could 
happen to you right now, but it must be at least a little bit scary to 
be ripped out of the life you've created for yourself. Are you ready for 
some open spaces, horses, trees, streams, snow? Why not? Maybe it will 
become the first step for you to travel the world. 

Treat Me like 1 Potato 


I I like to go to Rainbow. Spanish goblins, metal licks, 
like a hooker at my heels. "Treat me like a potato. Lolly 
pop. Holly slocker, where's the klumper quakers. I like 
klumper quarters. I like, ohhh ya, my hash browns." 


From The Beat: More funny nonsense from Mr. Hedrylc. Why just once, 
don't you write something from your heart, maybe about something you 
truly think is important? We know you can do it. 

Weed Is Messing Up My Life 

Today I am gonna write about why I'm in here. I am here 
just because a dirty UA (urine analysis.) I just think it's 
not worth it to be here, just because a UA. I don't want to 
be here just because of that. 

I am gonna stop smoking weed, because I don't want 
to come back any more. Even now I can't go to sleep at 
night, but that's what I get for doing that. Even now I can't 
stop smoking and I need it. How I am gonna have to stop? 
It's not easy, but I am gonna try to do the right thing. 


From The Beat: In Juvy, with no access to weed, your mind is getting 
clear. What's that like for you? How are you handling being with many 
young people your age who are mostly strangers, without your weed? 
Do you think, once you're out, that you can handle touchy situations 
without being stoned? Why not practice now? 

One important change that I would like to happen is 
with the way that law enforcement does their job. Law 
enforcement is too hard and rough, the way they do 
their job in these days. It's very strange that since law 
enforcement has a gun, taser, pepper spray, billy club 
and a badge, they think that they can control every 
person that roams around the streets. 

Imagine that the law enforcement didn't have any 
weapons — what this world would be like? There would be 
riots, such as more killings, fights and gangs. 


From The Beat: So do you think law enforcement must have weapons to 
stop riots, killings and gang fights, or fewer weapons, because it abuses 
its power with those weapons? If you were a police captain, how would 
you design your force to assure the public safety, and also, to keep 
people free from police abuse? 


Every Time I Turn Around 


I'm getting' sick of bein' locked up. I keep doin' dumb 
stuff an' I need to stop. It's just where I come from an' 

I where I been. Every time I turn around, I'm back in here. 


From The Beat: From what you write, it seems pretty simple. You already 
know what you do that's illegal and therefore real dumb, right? So stop 
it now and stay home. It's not where you come from or where you've 
been, it's who you are and where you want to go in your future. 

I Miss My Girl 

J L 

What it do, Beat? I miss my girl. She my ride or die chick. 
She my best friend. When we talk I forget that all the 
struggles I'm going through. Since she is a co-defendant 
I in my case, there is a no contact order from the judge. I 
haven't been able to have any contact with her. It tears 
me apart. 

I Every night I go to bed, I think about bein' with her. 

Deep down I know it's only gonna make us stronger. But I 
can't wait for all this to be over, just so we can be together, 
to enjoy life together. When I get out we both gon' get, 
"What don't kill you only makes you stronger" tatted on 
us, just as a reminder. I know how we both gonna grow 
from this. 

-Young Koon 

From The Beat: Good thinking, but what about the two of you deciding 
that you're not going to do whatever you already did, that brought 
you into juvy? Do you encourage each other to say out of mess on the 
outs, go to school, get some real work, and also have fun? What about 
having her be your ride and live chick? How do you help her with her 

I Would Change My Life 

If I can change something, it would be by life. I would not 
do the things I do to hurt my family and to hurt anyone. I 
would like to say sorry for doing something that was not 
supposed to go down. 

I If I can, I would help the man out by getting all his 

stuff back to him. I did not want to go like that. If I can 
change something, I would change my anger. I will never 
do something like that again, and I'd do everything my 
mom told me what to do. 


From The Beat: In Marin juvy, you have a program which has the juvy 
resident, his/her PO and victim, in a room together, so the victim can 
relate how he has been hurt, and the resident can tell what his life is 
like. Some people say this program really helps them realize how what 
they've done has affected their victim, and the victim feels better after 
he has confronted the person who hurt him/her. Maybe you can get into 
this program, and when you're free, help this man get his things back. 



Cuando Comence 

El Alcoholismo 

Mi tema se trata el alcoholismo. Bueno, cuando yo estaba 
en Honduras, miraba como las otras personas se destruian 
en el alcohol. En ese entonces, yo todavia no tomaba ni 
fumaba mariguana. 

Mi vida se fue a la perdicion cuando commence a tomar y 
a fumar mariguana. Me acuerdo que un dia estabamos en el 
rio fumando mariguana, y nos vieron fumando unas personas 
y les fueron a contar a mi papa. Ese dia ni quise ir a la casa 
porque me iban a pegar. 

Al otro dia, volvi a ver a las personas y estaba con pena 
que nisiquiera les quise decir adios. 

Ahora que estoy preso, no hayo la forma como sacarme 
de la mente todos esos malos pensamientos que se me 
crusan por mi mente. 

Tambien les quiero dar un consejo que cuando salgan de 
este lugar, se alejen de las malas gabillas proque las malas 
gabillas son las que nos hacen caer en la carcel. 

From The Beat: Se nota como que aprendistes tu leccion. Busca la forma 
de sacarte esos pensamientos malos que tienes en mente. Usa este 
tiempo que te limpiara tu organismo para sacar la ambition de las droga 
de tu cuerpo y quitea de una sola vez. Tienes una vida por delante, 
piensa en eso. 

When I Started It 

My topic is about alcoholism. Well, when I was in Honduras, 
I used to see how other people would destroy their lives in 
alcohol. At that time, I didn't drink nor smoke weed. 

My life headed to perdition when I started to drink and 
smoke weed. I remember I was by the river smoking weed, 
and some people I know saw us smoking weed and told my 
father. That day, I didn't want to go to the house because they 
were going to punish me. 

The next day, I saw the same people and I was embarrassed 
that I didn't even said good-bye. 

Now that I am locked up, I can't find a way to get rid of all 
my thoughts that cross my mind. 

I also want to give an advice: when you get out of this 
place, stay away from bad influence because they are that 
make you come in jail. 

-Carlos, San Francisco 
From The Beat: It seems like you learned your lesson. Look for ways to 
get rid of all those negative thoughts you got in mind, now fill your 
mind up with positive one. Use this time that will clean up your body 
organism from drugs and quit at once. You have a whole life ahead of 

, so think about that. 

lo Que Voy A Hacer 


Bueno, les voy a contar una depression que tube hace 
un mes. Estaba en mi cuarto pensando que hago yo aqui, 
pudiendo hacer muchas cosas. 

Me doy cuenta que cuando estoy encerrado es cuando 
tengo que refleccionar. Ahora voy a hacer una nueva persona 
desde hoy en adelante. Cuando saiga de esta juvenile, voy 
a hacer una persona nueva, voy a dejar los vicios, voy a 
trabajar, y a formar un hogar. 

From The Beat: Entonces empieza a reflexionar! Esperamos que cumplas 
con tus palabras. £Que tan seguro estas que cambiaras? £Y que haras 
bien para hacerlo bien? 

What I'm Going To Do 

Well, I'm going to share about a depression time I had a 
month ago. I was in my room thinking what I'm doing here 
when I could have been doing many other things. 

I realized that when I'm locked up is when I have time to 
reflect. From now and on, I'm going to try to be a new person. 
When I get out of juvenile hall, I'm going to be a new person, 
quit bad habits, work, and form a home. 

-Juan Carlos, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Then, start reflecting! We hope you keep your words. 
How sure are you that you will change? And what would you do right 
to make it happen? 

El alcoholismo es un problema que afecta a toda la 
sociedad. En mi caso, solo ha afectado a mi familia. Tengo 
unos tios qe toman, pero en especial un tio que empezo a 
beber desde los 17 afios. 

Una vez, hace unos afios, el fue a beber a una cantina 
cerca de mi casa, y esa noche como a las 12 de la noche, 
estabamos dormidos, oismos que alguien gritaba y pedia 
auxilio. Esa persona era mi tio quien lo venia siguiendo 
una pandilla. Mi papa salio a auxiliarlo y lo metio a la 

Ya estando en casa, se puso a llorar que por culpa 
del vicio por nada pierde su vida. Eso me ha servido de 
ejemplo para no abusar del alcohol. 

El embarazo de joven es algo que afecta mas a la 
mujer. Uno disfrutan tan to tener relaciones, pero es ella 
la quien se queda con ese regalo. A mi todavia no me ha 
pasado eso, pero el dia que alguna mujer me diga que esta 
embarazada, le voy a dar gracias a Dios y ser responsible. 
Yo se que mi familia me apoya. Para no cometer ese error, 
hay que usar anticonceptivos para la mujer. 

From The Beat: El alcohol te mete en situaciones que hasta pueda y sea 
la ultima en tu vida. Lo bueno es que pudieron ayudar a tu tio. £Dejo 
de tomar tu tio despues de esa experiencia? Siempre manten en mente 
esta experiencia para que te ayude. Gracias por tu opinion basada en el 
embarazo de joven. 


Alcoholism is a problem that affects the entire society. In 
my case, it has just affected my family. I had a few uncles 
that drink, but especially an uncle who started it when he 
was 17 years old. 

One time, he went to drink to a bar near the house, 
and that night, like around 12 midnight, we were sleeping, 
and heard that someone was screaming and asking for 
help. That person was my uncle who was being followed 
by a gang. My dad came out o help him and got him into 
the house. 

When being in the house, he started to cry because of 
the habit that almost took his life. That experience helps 
me not to abuse alcohol. 

Teen's pregnancy is something that affects woman. 
We enjoy so much sex, but she is the one who stays with 
the gift. It hasn't happened to me yet. But when a girl tells 
me that she is pregnant, I'm going to thank God and be 
responsible. I know my family supports me. To not make 
that mistake, there is birth control for women. 

-Alexis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Alcohol takes you into situation that may be the last 
one in your life. The good thing is that you guy had the chance to help 
your uncle. Did your uncle stop drinking after that experience? Keep 
this experience so it can help you. Thanks for your opinion based on 
teens pregnancy. 


PHf // 

Por Culpa Del Alcohol 

\ El Abuso 

Mi nombre es Jose y quiero contar que he visto varias 
familias separarse por esa sustancia que es el alcohol. Las 
personas que andan ebrias, no saben lo que hacen. 

Los hombres les pegan a sus mujeres solo porque andan 
locos. Yo miro tambien como agarran a sus hijos a golpes. 
Por eso pienso que el alcohol es muy dafiino. El alcohol solo 
maltrato de familias, y unas cosa buena no te trae nada mas 
que problemas. 

Les aconsejo a las personas que beben que no lo hagan 
porque se estan danando a ellos mismos y tambien a sus 
seres queridos. 

From The Beat: Que bien que pienses asi y que des esos consejos. El 
alcohol es un problema bien enfermiso. Mantente lejos de su alcalnce. 

Because Of Alcohol 

My name is Jose and I want to share that I have seen many 
families have fallen apart due to the substance of alcohol. 
People, who are drunk, don't know what they do. 

There are men who hit their women when they are drunk. 
See when they also hit their kids. That's why I think alcohol 
is very harmful. Alcohol only creates the mistreating of 
families, and it doesn't create one good thing but problems. 

I suggest to people who drink not to do it anymore 
because they harming themselves and their loved ones. 

-Jose, San Francisco 
From The Beat: It's good that you think like this and give advice. Alcohol 
is a very sick problem. Stay out of its reach. 

Eilarazo Sii Oi Padre 


Una vez le pregunte a una persona que pasa si embarazo 
a una muchacha. Me dijo que no porque estaba malo. No 
se lo que crecer sin padre, pero me imagino que no es 
facil porque se siente mal cuando se celebran el Dia del 
Padre en las escuelas o en otros lugares. 

Siempre hay en el mundo personas que te molestan y 
te dicen cosas wque te hacen sentir mal. 

Mi hermana es una madre soltera y segun me dice 
que no es facil ni para ella ni para su hijo quien todavia 
no entiende. Pero a medida el vaya creciendo, se va a dar 

Por eso le doy consejo a ustedes que si no estas 
preparado para ser padre, no te metas a camisa de once 

From The Beat: Es muy dificil crecer sin padre. Un nino tiene el derecho 
de crecer con un padre quien le de el ejemplo en como ser una persona 
responsable, alguien quien le demuestre como vivir esta vida que cada 
dia se vuelve mas dura. iCrees que llegaras a ser un padre ejemplar 
cuando tengas a tus hijos? 

Pregnancy Without A Father 

One time I asked a person what would happen if I get 
a girl pregnant. This person told me that I was wrong. 
I don't know how it is to grow up without a father, but I 
think it should be sad for a kid to celebrate Fathers Day 
everywhere when not having one. 

There are always people in the world that bother you 
and tell you think that will get you feel bad. 

My sister is a single mother and according to what 
she tells me is that it isn't easy for her or her kid who still 
doesn't understands. But throughout the time her kids 
grow up, her kid will understand it. 

That's why I give this advice to you that if you are not 
prepared to be a father, don't mess with it. 

-Alejandro, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Its very hard to grow up without a father. A kid has 
the right to grow up with a father who can show him love and good 
examples to become a responsible person. Do you think you will become 
an exemplar father when you grow up? You should!! 


La primera vez que vi que abusaron a una persona fue 
en el barrio que vivia. Vi a unos pandilleros abusar de una 
alcoholica que andaba tomada. 

Mi segunda vez que vi otra violacion fue cuando 
venia del tren hacia los Estados Unidos. Violaron a una 
Salvadorefia 5 pandilleros que asaltaban los trenes. 

Mi depresion fue cuando murio mi abuelo hace 5 
afios. Perdi al ser mas querido y desde ese entonces, me 
refujie entre las drogas para sentir que mi abuelo habia 
muerto. Por eso me la paso fumando mariguana para no 
sentir que se fue. 

From The Beat: Sentimos mucho tu perdida, pero no estamos deacuerdo 
con lo que haces para sanar tu dolor. No uses la muerte de tu abuelo 
como excusa para fumar droga o tirar todo a la basura. Entre mas fumas 
y mas negatividad traes a tu vida, mas problemas te creas a tu vida. 


The first time I saw people abusing another person was in 
the 'hood I used to live. I saw some gangsters abusing an 
alcholic person who was drunk. 

My second time I saw another rape was when I was 
on board on the train coming to the US. Five gangsters, 
whom rob people, raped a Salvadoran girl. 

My depression started when my grandfather died 5 
years ago. I lost the most loved person, and since then, I 
refuge myself into drugs to deny that my grandfather had 
died. That's why I spend my time smocking weed to not 
feel his gone. 

-Francisco, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. Although, we desagree with 
what you are doing to heal your pain. Don't use his death as excuse 
to smoke drugs or to dump everything away. The more you smoke and 
more negative things you bring into your life, the more problems you 
bring to your life. 

Mi Padre Era Un Alcoholico 

Me llamo Pedro y soy de Honduras. Cuando estaba 
pequefio, me acuerdo que mi padre era un alcoholico, y 
ese fue el gran problema de nosotros. No podiamos salir 
adelante. Mi padre trabajaba todos los dias y cuando le 
pegaban los Sabados, llegaba borracho a la casa a hacer 
relajo y a molestar a mi mama. Llegaba a quitarle los 

Iiinicos sentavos que tenia para darnos de comer. 
Gracias a Dios eso ya no pasa porque mi madre 
se canso de eso y le dijo que parar o sino que mirara 
que hacer. Mi padre dejo de tomar y despues nosotros 
viviamos mejor economicamente. 

From The Beat: Es que el alcohol es una droga que no respeta dignidad, 
sexo, edad y estado social, etc. Estamos contentos que tu padre se did 
cuenta de la seriedad de su problema de alcohol a tiempo. Esperamos y 
que no se vuelva a repetir la misma historia contigo. 

My Father Was An Alcoholic 

My name is Pedro and I am from Honduras. When I was little, 
I I remember that my dad was an alcoholic and that was a big 
problem of ours. We couldn't succeed. My father used to work 
everyday and when he would get paid, he would come drunk 
at home to make a mess and to bother my mother. He would 
go home to take the last cents my mom had to feed us. 

Thank God he that doesn't happens anymore because 
my mother got tired of it and told him that if he doesn't stop 
to look for what to do. My father stopped drinking and we 

[started to live better economically. 
-Pedro, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Alcohol is a drug that doesn't respect dignity, gender, 
age, and social status, etc. We are glad that your dad realized his serious 
alcohol problem on time. We hope you not to repeat the same story. 




PHf // 

La Mala Noticia 

Mi nombre es Carlos y sobre este tema les voy a contar 
sobre la ultima vez que me senti triste. Me acuerdo que 
cuando sali de mi pais para los Estados Unidos; todavia 
tenia vivo a mi pare. Me acuerdo que cuando legue a 
Phoenix, Arizona, le llame a mi padre y le dije que estaba 
bien. El estaba con toda la familia, y me dijo que todos 
estaba bien. 

Yo necesitaba dinero para irme para Los Angeles. 
Unos amigos me dijeron que fuera con ellos a la calle, fui 
con ello y me agarro la policia. Me metieron a la carcel y 
ahi estuve como por seis meses. Cuando ya iba a cumplir 
7 meses de estar encerrado, me dieron una noticia que 
me dejo marcada la vida. Me dijeron que habian matado a 
mi padre. Cuando me dijeron eso, me puse triste que ni 
siquiera queria comer. 

A pasar el tiempo, esa herida se fue sanando poco a 
poco. Esto es todo lo que le puedo decir sobre mi vida. 

Les quiero decir a los Catrachos, que no se aguiten 
que algiin dia vamos a salir. 

From The Beat: Sentimos mucho la perdida de tu padre. Sabemos que 
esto te ha afectado mucho porque todas la veces que escribes, siempre 
escribes sobre lo mismo. Y entendemos lo doloroso y duro que es esto. 
Tienes que tomar en cuenta que la vida sigue y que tienes que por 
lo menos evitar de pensar en esta trajedia y empezar a vivir tu vida. 
Enfocate en tu situacion y en como salir adelante. Hay una vida que te 

Bad News 

My name is Carlos and I am going to write about the last 
time I felt sad. I remember it was when I left my country 
to come to the US; I had my father alive. I remember that 
when I got to Phoenix, Arizona, I call my father and I 
told him I was fine. He was reunited with all my family 
members, and told me that all of them were fine. 

I needed some money to go to Los Angeles. A few 
friends of mine ask me to go to the streets with them, 
and I got caught by the police. They locked me up in here 
and I was there for six months. 

When I was going to turn 7 months of being there, I 
received a bad news that marked my life. They told me 
that my dad was killed. When they told me this, I got so 
sad that I didn't even want to eat. 

Throughout time, this scar started to heal little by 
little. This is all I can say about my life. 

I want to tell all, not to get sad because some day, we 
will get out. 

-Carlos, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We are sorry for the loss of your father. We can tell that 
this has affected you tremendously because you've been writing about 
this so many time. And we understand how painful and hard this is. You 
have to keep in mind that life continues and you have to try to avoid 
thinking about this tragedy and start living your life. Focus in your 
situation and how you will succeed. There is a life that's waits for you. 

Despies De lia Cerveza 


Espero que esten bien de salud. Gracias a Dios me encuentro 
bien de salud. Gracias a Dios no tengo ningun vicio. Cuando digo 
la palabra vicio, me refiero a las cervezas, alcohol, vino, o las 
drogas. Seria mentiroso si les dijera que nunca he probado las 
bebidas que contienen alcohol. 

Cuando llegue a San Francisco, un amigo mi estaba 
cumpliendo afios y lo estaba celebrando. Habian un monton 
de cerbezas Coronas, y me envitaron a tomarme una para que 
pasara un momento alegre con ellos. Despues que me tome una, 
despues me tome otra y otra hasta que me emborrache. Cuando 
me lebante el dia siguiente, me lebante con un dolor de cabeza y 
una sequia que parecia que ya me iba a morir. Un amigo mio, me 
fue a comprar una sopa 7 mares. Desde ese dia, dije que no iba a 
volver a tomar porque no me gusto porque casi me muero de la 

Gracias a Dios no agarre ese vicio. Que Dios los bendiga. 

From The Beat: Que bien que solo te tomo esa experiencia para no volver 
a hacerlo. Para unas persona se les toma una vez para nunca parar de 
tomar en su vida, y para otras, se les toma otra para nunca volver a 
hacerlo. Esperamos que esa sea la ultima vez. iS era esta la ultima vez 
que vendras aqui en tu vida? 

After A Beer 

I hope you find yourself in good health. Thank God I am in good 
health. Thank God I got no bad habits. When I say the word habit, 
I refer to beers, alcohol, wine or drugs. I'll be a liar if I say that I 
haven't tried drinks that contain alcohol. 

When I came to San Francisco, a friend of mine was 
celebrating a birthday party. There were a lot of Coronas beers, 
and they invited me to drink one to spend a fun moment with 
them. After I drank one, I drank more until I got drunk. When 
I got up the next day, I woke up with a big headache and dried 
that seemed I was going to die. A friend of mine bought me a 
sea soup. Since that day, I said to myself that I wasn't going to 
drink again because I didn't like the feeling of almost dying over 
a hangover. 

Thank God I didn't get stuck to that habit. God bless you 

-Elias, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Its good that it only took you that experience to never 
do it again. For some people, it just takes one beer to drink their entire 
lives, and for others it takes one to never drink again. We hope you be 
one of those who will never drink again. Will this be the last time you'll 
come here like the last time you drank? 

Mi Experiencia 

Mi experiencia que tube en la vida fue cuando llegue a San 
Francisco. Bueno, anduve en la calle vendiendo droga, pero 
no me daba cuenta que la felicidad me iba a durar poco. 

Cuando andaba en la calle vendiendo era feliz porque 
agarraba dinero y me compraba muchas cosas. No me 
daba cuenta que vivia feliz con el sufrimiento de las demas 
personas. Me doy cuenta que no puedo estar contento porque 
mi felicidad era falsa. 

From The Beat: Eso se llama reflexion. Vas por buen camino. Sigue 
pensando de esta manera, porque al pensar de esta manera, te va a 
llebar a conclusion de lo que realmente la vida es. 

My Experience 

The experience I had in life was when I got here in San 
Francisco. Well, I was on the streets selling drugs, but I 
didn't know that my happiness wasn't going to last long. 

When I was selling drugs on the streets, I was happy 
because I used to get money and I would buy many things. I 
didn't realize I was living happy over the suffering of other 
people. I've now realized that I wasn't happy because my 
happiness was fake. 

-Sebastian, San Francisco 
From The Beat: That's what we call reflection! You're heading onto a 
good road. Keep thinking that way because by doing so, you will get to 
the real conclusion of what life really is. 



vtwt- //// - #"////// 

'Pedgd nGfJcinnn* 

Metaphorically King Of Harmony 

So tonight I just cant sleep 

So I put my pen and thoughts to this paper and just speak 

With no sound but words that are so deep 

If only you knew and took a second on how I think 

I try to express this with as much imagery 

So you could see me in your dreams everyday 

As I pray while I bow in this cell on one knee 

To let you know that yes you are my queen 

And I wanna be your king 

Better yet in simple terms I hope it's meant to be 

How about a favor can I ask you Bre? 

Since I'm locked up right now I count on you to be here to 

support me mentally? 

If not I'm a man and I can stand to accept that 

Our next writer is sending us his poem from Washington State 
Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Ca. Pedro is a part of a group of writers 
starting to consistently send us writings from Washington State Pen. 
They're talented Men with topics that vary from love, politics, and 
lessons learned in life. Not caring what people think, they express 
themselves creatively through their poetry. So give it up to Pedro as he 
dedicates the following poem to the love of his life Breanna Graciano. 

See so if not then it might be best you leave 

Because in the end I would hate to hate a friend that once 

belonged to me 

I don't want to be the one to make you cry 

And I don't want to be the one to tell you a lie 

Ever again in our lives! 

I love you Breanna Graciano 

Now tell me are you down to ride by my side 

But for now I got to go and rest my sleepy eyes 

So good-bye. P.s. goodnight. 

I Think My Step Mom Killed My Dad 

I forgot to mention something that's part of the story. 
Several years before my dad's wife brought him the hepatitis 
infected syringe that got him sick, she did love my dad. But, 
somewhere along the way my dad went astray. Not even I 
knew about my dad's secret life. I can't even guess when 
this began, but occasionally my dad used to go out to the 
bars and get drunk. 

According to the story, my dad went to a country and 
western bar. Why? Hell if I know. He could've gotten killed 
by the white racists. Anyway, he met a big white woman 
who had moles all over her face, neck, arms and God 
knows where else she had big plugs of moles. She was a 
big woman, too. Large. She lived in low income housing on 
Section 8, on welfare and on food stamps. She had a son 
and a daughter. I guess my dad had been seeing her for a 
couple of years before he took me to her apartment one 

It didn't bother me when my dad took me with him 
because I would leave in his truck and go cruise on King 
and Story Road in the East Side of San Jose. My dad had a 

'jtmss nnnzRLES* 

Our next writer is sending us his story right over the barbed wire 
fences from Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, Ca. He always sends 
us writing that pertains to what's going inside those brick walls. He 
always writes about the injustices that go on inside those walls. In 
this upcoming piece though he gets a little personal and talks about 
something that's rather tragic. But talking about our problems always 
seems to help either yourself, or other people out. So take a moment 

nice truck, too, and a loud bumpin' system. Of course his 
wife didn't like being left by herself at home. She eventually 
found out about my dad's mistress and even ended up 
confronting her on the phone to tell her she was married to 
my dad. 

For years the animosity built up in my dad's wife. I 
don't know if my dad told my stepmother he was gonna 
divorce her or what triggered her to decide to kill my dad, 
but I did hear my dad mention leaving his wife to marry his 
mistress, Elaine. I'll bet anything if I could ask Elaine she 
would agree with me that Marge killed my dad. Anyways, I 
left this part out when I wrote about Marge killing my dad. 
This is her motive. 


There are moments in life when you miss someone so much 
that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug 
them for real... when the door of happiness closes, another 
opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door 
that we don't see the one which has been opened for us. 

Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for 
wealth; even that fades away... go for someone who makes 
you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark 
day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile, 
dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be 
what you want to be, because you have only one life and one 
chance to do all the things you want to do. 

May you have enough happiness to make your sweet, 
enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep 
you human, enough hope to make you happy. The happiest 


Our next writer is writing to us from Missouri Correctional Facility 
in Cameron, Mo. He has written to us in a while as we lost contact. 
But Ralph is back with some very potent writing for y'all to read. 
Ralph comes through with some real positive advice for all you readers 
to pick up. So please don't sleep on our boy as he makes every word 
count in this short but powerful piece of writing! 

of people don't necessarily have the best of everything. 
They just make the most of everything that comes along 
their way. The brightest future will always be based on a 
forgotten past. You can't go forward in life until you let go 
of your past failures and heartaches. 

When you were born, you were crying and everyone 
around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end you're 
the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying. 
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but 
by the moments that take our breath away. 


liuuuiuHwnmimmmMT L 

mam /// '/ * #////// 


mom m 

Who Needs The Bible In The 21st Century? 

The simple, easy answer to that question is everyone. 
But since the question is neither simple, nor is life easy, 
then an explanation is necessary. Some say that "people 
get religious" when they come to jail. I think that people 
tend to turn to God when faced with reality, and when 
our usual illusions are pulled out from under our feet. A 
common illusion is that we are in control of our lives, and 
that things will turn out the way we plan. The reality is that 
we often find ourselves in unexpected situations, facing 
unpredictable difficulties, and unexplainable evil. And 
so, when a man or a woman finds himself/herself in jail, 
the reality of helplessness sets in, and a common prayer 
is heard, "Help me, God, because you are Lord and I am 

Another illusion is that in our age of technology and 
science, we have everything figured out. Progress and 
information have brought new knowledge, but have also 
created new problems. The Atomic Age pushed the limits of 
science, medicine, and technology, yet it has also provided 
us with new ways to destroy ourselves. Science, on the 
other hand, is able to tell us how we are made, but fails 
to tell us why and for what. Philosophy can guess about 
where we are headed, but tells us nothing about the one 
who made us, and who determined the path of mankind. 
More importantly, all around us (and even within us), we 
observe evil, yet are at a loss when it comes to eradicating 
it. Some equate evil with terrorists, or with poverty, but life 
teaches that evil existed long before terrorists, and thrived 
even where there are no poor people. 

It is a mystery — a mystery which the Holy Bible confronts 
head on. None of these questions are new, and they touch 
the essentials of human existence. I have heard it stated that 
the Holy Scriptures is "a compass" for mankind, guiding us 
through the dangerous sea of life: a sea that can be friendly 
in one moment, and stormy in the next. That alone — if that 
is true — obligates us to look at the compass frequently, in 
order to understand where we are coming from, where we 
are headed, and whether or not we are staying the course. 
In the words of a Bible poet, "Your word is a lamp to my feet 
and a light to my paths." (Ps. 119:105). 

How can we explain why the Holy Bible remains a 
bestseller in the 21st century, despite the fact that it was 
completed almost two thousand years ago? How has it 
endured the test of time, helped countless pilgrims on the 
path of life, withstood centuries of criticism? Why did it 

Our next writer always comes through with knowledge for 
everybody's ears. He sends us his powerful writings from Corcoran 
State Prison in Corcoran, California. Mikhail is one of our most 
consistent writers and always seems to bring knowledge to our attention 
every time. He writes to educate himself and everyone else that's willing 
to listen. We're not all as religious as he is but if you pay attention 
closely you will find that no matter what religion you are or even if 
you don't believe in anything, that he has a point. We all are here for a 
reason, and the choice to do bad or good is ultimately on us. We can't sit 
here and blame other people when we are the ones that made these bad 
decisions. So kick back, and flip through this page, and try to look at 
this piece from a different aspect then a religious one, as Mikhail once 
again delivers undeniable knowledge. 

become the shaper of the Western world and civilization, 
shaping our thoughts about justice, truth, love, freedom, 
and man's ultimate purpose in being created? The Holy 
Scriptures are translated into over a thousand languages, 
are read in every country, on every continent, while the 
hundreds of ancient philosophers and know-it-alls occupy 
the dusty shelves of public libraries and college campuses. 
This, also, is a mystery, but one, which has been revealed 
to us by the One Who, inspired the Bible's authors. 

Basically, the Holy Bible is a love letter from God, 
and a living constitution of the Church. To absorb it is to 
absorb timeless wisdom, and to find life. To read it is to be 
enlightened, and to obey is to obtain salvation. Salvation 
from what, you ask? From evil, and from the spiritual 
reality of death, the greatest enemies of mankind. The Holy 
Scriptures are not simply a "book". 

The Word of God is a Person — Jesus Christ, God in 
the Flesh, God who became man, so that man might fulfill 
his eternal destiny of becoming like God, and being in his 
presence for eternity. The greatest joy for any man is in 
fulfilling his or her callings as a human being. The Bible, 
then, is not the end of our Faith, but is the beginning and 
the means to the end: to grow in Jesus Christ, becoming 
united to Him, and become like Him in our hearts and 

This is, certainly, the work of God, but it is also the 
work of man. Our part is to answer the work of the Holy 
Spirit in our lives, fulfilling the words of St. Paul, "Now the 
Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there 
is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a 
mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the 
same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the 
Lord." (2Cor. 3:18). 

Dear brothers in the Faith, and in life, read the Holy 
Bible, and allow God to open the eyes of your heart to its' 
eternal mysteries. Read it humbly, prayerfully, expectantly, 
knowing that God is faithful. More on that next time. 

A Quote For Everyone 

"When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does 
not lose his human quality, his mind does not become 
closed to ideas, his intellect does not cease to feed on a 
free and open interchange of opinions, his yearning for 
self respect does not end, nor his quest for self-realization 
concluded. If anything, the need for identity and self 
respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison 


Horace Bell sends this quote from Justice Marshall (1 974) from the 
Procunler vs. Martinez case. Horace is at Kern Valley State Prison in 
Delano, CA. This is a good reminder for all, Horace! 


U.S. Aid Given Abroad Instead of At Home \ 

Two economic headlines in recent newspapers, as in past 
times, offered an interesting contrast. The first stated, 
"Gas prices confine sick people." The article reported 
about sick Americans who, because of high gas prices, 
had to delay medical appointments, leave support groups 
and apply for grants to help with the cost. The second 
was "U.S. to give Georgia additional $1 billion in aid," to 
help Georgians recover from the Russian invasion. 

There were similar stories in the past to fund other 
countries in need, space exploration, on wars, to build 
more prisons, etc. What's wrong with this picture? I 
can't believe people are losing their jobs, losing their 
homes, going without medical insurance or medical help, 
are homeless and starving on the streets in the richest 
country in the world, and yet our government can always 
find enough money to send it overseas but not enough 
concern or sense to help its U.S. citizens. 

Where is all this money coming from that the 
government is splurging with or wasting? The answer, of 
course, is from the taxes paid by those who are losing their 
homes, losing their jobs, lives, and unable to get medical 
assistance. Wake up, America, before our government 
kills us all! 


Give us a watchword for the hour 
A thrilling word, a word of power 
A battle cry, a flaming breathe 
That calls to conquest or to death 

A word to rouse the church from rest 
To head the Master's high behest 
The call is given; Ye hosts arise 
Our watchword is Evangelize 

The glad evangel now proclaim 
Through all the earth in Jesus' name 
This word is ringing through the skies 
Evangelize! Evangelize! 

To dying men, a fallen race 
Make known the gift of gospel grace 
The world that now in darkness lies 
Evangelize! Evangelize! 


When I can scarcely read or pray 

When troubled thoughts 

My soul dismay 

His precious name I softly say 

Jesus, Jesus! 

If sorrows like a thunder cloud 
In darkest night my soul enshroud 
Out of the depths I cry aloud 
Jesus, Oh, Jesus! 

If like a flood the foe comes in 

With thoughts of unbelief and sin 

His mighty name 

The fight shall win 

Oh, Jesus, My sweet, Jesus! 

Our next writer should sound very familiar to a lot of you. If you've 
just barely started picking up our issue in the past couple weeks 
then you might not be familiar with him as we haven't published his 
work in an x amount of weeks because we are behind. But we're proud 
to introduce Herbert, as he writes from Crossroads Correctional Center 
in Cameron, MO to express his point of views on politics, religion, and 
also give out advice for anyone that's willing to take it. Herbert has 
been locked down a very long time and is anticipating his release soon. 

us. Without further or do let Herbert bring some knowledge to these 

I Am 

I am but an alien 
To this time and space 
But the power of the pen 
I do embrace. 

I tickle your mind 
With the tip of my tongue 
And speak from the heart 
Leaving nothing undone. 

I listen with my eyes 
And touch you with my charms 
But I don't point with these fingers 
At the ends of my arms 

But there's one thing you must know 
Before you make this crucial selection 
My feet are pointed, my friend 
In the right direction. 


Before you pray... forgive 

Before you criticize... wait 

Before you speak... listen 
Before you write... think 

Before you spend... earn 
Before you quit... try 

My Mountain Peak 

At the foot of the mountain 
So often myself I find 
Daily cares pressed upon me 
It's the peaks I want to climb 

There's terrain to be discovered 
New truths there to be mined 
As I press ever onward 
Help me, these truths to find 

Your Word to search and ponder 
Lord, lead me, I pray 
Teach me in each experience 
In Thy perfect will to stay 

Oh, let me keep on climbing 
Never to be satisfied 
To stay at the foot of the mountain 
When I climb on up the side 

To find such sweet communion 
As upward I reach the peak 
The joy and peace that fills me 
Is there for all who seek! 



— 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 1 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 — 1 

7/rJXlE/MMMM' //// ' #////// M 

> t — t ^ i 

f 'HB0BB0T 5C 

w ULicrr7car __„- m 

HfWC^ LJ^rr / rnnr. M ^^^^m 

Cast Tky lurdeis On the Lirl \ 

Christian, when thy way seems darkest 

1 Belong to Bim \ 

And thine eyes with tears are dim 

Heaven is my goal 

Straight to God thy Father hastening 

I'm just a traveler here 

Tell thy sorrows unto him 

My treasures are laid up 

Not to human ear confiding 

In the place I hold so dear 

Thy sad tale of grief or care 

But before thy Father kneeling 

Jesus walks beside me 

Pour out all thy sorrows there 

In this prison on the earth 
He never will desert me 

Sympathy of friends may cheer thee 

To Him, I have great worth 

When the fierce, wild, storm is past 

But God alone can console thee 

I will serve Him day to day 

When it breaks upon thee fast 

Until He takes me home 

Go with words or tears or silence 

I'll be with Him forever 

Only lay them at His feet 

Because I am His own! 

Thou shalt prove how great His pity 

And His tenderness how sweet 

To live is Christ 

To live is Christ, our life 

Think how thy divine Redeemer 

For through His death we live 

Knew as thou canst never know 

We win, yea conquer, over strife 

All the deepest grief and suffering 

As more to Him we give 

All the weight of human woe 

Then be it life or death 

And although now in glory seated 

What matters, O my soul 

He can hear thy feeblest cry 

Thy Maker holds eternal life 

Even hear the stifled sighing 

For He is all in all 

Of thy heart's dumb agony 

To die is gain! Yea, gain 
For all who live for God 

All thy griefs by Him permitted 

The saint who dies but goes to heaven 

Needful is each one for thee 

To reign with Christ Jesus his Lord 

All thy fears by Him are counted 

To live is Christ, our life 

One too much there cannot be 

For through His death we live 

And if whilst they fall so quickly 

We win, yea conquer, over strife 

Thou canst own His way is right 
Then each bitter tear of anguish 
Precious is in Jesus' sight 

Far too well thy Savior loves thee 

As more to him we give. 

God Will Answer \ 

To allow thy life to be 

Sometimes I moan and grumble 

One long, calm unbroken summer 

In the dealing of life's hand 

One unruffled storm less sea 

But somehow I journey onward 

He would have thee fondly nestle 

Seeing His love in this plan 

Closer to His loving breast 

He would have the world seem brighter 

Oh, I'm sure I wouldn't travel 

Where alone is perfect rest 

Very far without His aid 

And from the test we all encounter 

Though His wise and loving purpose 

Let's each worship and give praise 

Clearly now thou canst not see 

Still believe with faith unshaken 

Though a smooth path may bring pleasure 

All shall work for good to thee 

It takes fortitude and strength 

Therefore when thy way seems darkest 

To walk the rugged valley 

And thy eyes with tears are dim 

Where it never seems to end 

Straight to God thy Father hastening 

Tell thy sorrow unto Him. 

Like the darkness of a tunnel 
And no mountain view in sight 
Like a cross that's ever so heavy 
Like a winter without light 

God's Best Things \ 

God has His best things for the few 

But somehow His tender mercy 

Who dare to stand the test? 

Like a beacon light to guide 

God has His second best for those 

Will assist each weary traveler 

Who will not have His best? 

If we'd just but realize 

I want, among the victor's throng 

Realize that God will answer 

To have my name confessed 

In His way... and in His time 

And hear the Master say, "Well done 

Then our mission will prove worthy 

My child, you did your best." 

And our trials prove divine. 

/ 7g wn nnnnnxnMim 


The Bible and T.V. Guide 

On the table side by side 

The Holy Bible and the T.V. Guide 

One is well worn but cherished with pride 

(Not the Bible, but the T.V. Guide) 

One is used daily to help folks decide 

No! It isn't the Bible; it's the T.V. Guide 

As pages are turned, what shall they see? 

Oh, what does it matter; turn on the T.V. 

Then confusion reigns; they can't all agree 

On what they shall watch on the old T.V. 

So they open the book in which they confide 

(No, not the Bible, it's the T.V. Guide) 

The Word of God is seldom read 

Maybe a verse ever they fall into bed 

Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be 

Not from reading the Bible but from watching T.V 

So, then back to the table, side by side 

Is the Holy Bible and the T.V. Guide 

No time for prayer, no time for the Word 

The plan of salvation is seldom heard 

Forgiveness of sin so full and free 

Is found in the Bible, not on T.V. 

A Hundred Years Ahead 

Tell me, friend, what will it matter 
Say a hundred years from now 
If you owned ten thousand acres 
Or just one old broken down plow 
If you bought your suits in Paris 
And your shoes in Italy 
Or your clothes were made in patches 
As the bed quilts used to be 
Whether you lived in a mansion 
With the finest broadlooms laid 
If you had a private chauffeur 
Butler, cook a nurse and maid 
Or if you lived in a cottage 
With your health gone on the skids 
Out of work and out of money 
Just your wife and fourteen kids? 

But there's more to life than livin' 
More for those who will believe 
More in store laid up in heaven 
The Savior we receive 
Whether we are lost forever 
Or to Jesus here we bow 
This is what will make the difference 
In a hundred years from now. 

This Road to Prison 
This road, leads to heartaches 
Winding through the years 
Yes, this road is forever 
Forever paved with tears 

This road is for the lonely 
Deserted, dark and bare 
Where hopes and dreams all vanish 
Like smoke rings in the air 

This road knows no detour signs 
You cannot turn away 
Yes, this road is forever 
Forever and a day! 

If Ynu Keep Busy 

If you were busy being kind 
Before you knew it you would find 
You'd soon forget to think 'twas true 
That someone was unkind to you 

If you were busy being glad 
And cheering up people who are sad 
Although your heart might ache a bit 
You'd soon forget to notice it 

If you were being good 

And doing just the best you could 

You'd not have the time to blame some man 

Who's doing just the best he can 

If you were busy being true 
To what you know you ought to do 
You'd be so busy that you'd forget 
The blunders of the folks you've met 

If you were busy being right 
You'd find yourself too busy, quite 
To criticize your neighbor long 
Because he's busy being wrong. 

Step By Step 

He does not lead me year by year 

Nor even day by day 

But step-by-step my path unfolds 

My Lord directs my way 

Tomorrow's plans I do not know 
I only know this minute 
But He will say, "This is the way 
By faith now walk ye in it." 

And I am glad that it is so 

Today's enough to bear 

And when tomorrow comes His grace 

Shall far exceed its care 

What need to worry then, or fret? 
The God Who gave His Son 
Holds all the moments in His hand 
And gives them one by one. 

Every Youth 

Every youth has a quest to make 
For life is the King's Highway 
A joyous heart is the script we take 
On the road to Everyday 

Every youth has a gift to guard 
As he fares to a far off goal 
A body pure, and a mind unmarred 
And the light of a lovely soul 

Every youth has a task of his own 
For the Father has willed it so 
Youth seeks the way, and He alone 
Can show him the path to go. 

Every youth has a lovely Guide 
From the vale to the mountain crest 
For the Unseen Friend who walks beside 
Are the Way and the End of the quest. 


vtwm //// - #■////// 


mmm m 

Do It Now 

If with pleasure you are viewing 

Any work a man is doing 

If you like him or you love him 

Tell him now 

Don't withhold your approbation 

Till the person makes oration 

And he lies with snowy lilies 

On his brow 

Then no matter how you shout it 

He won't really care about it 

He won't know how many teardrops 

You have shed 

If you think some praise is due him 

Now's the time to slip it to him 

For he cannot read his tombstone 

When he's dead 

More than fame and more than money 

Is the comment kind and sunny? 

And the hearty, warm approval 

Of a friend 

For it gives to life a savor 

And it makes you stronger, braver 

And it gives heart and spirit 

To the end 

If he earns your praise, bestow it 

If you like him, let him know it 

Let the words of true encouragement 

Be said 

Do not wait till his life is over 

And he's underneath the clover 

For he cannot read his tombstone 

When he's dead. 


While sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch 
speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering 
along at 22 miles per hour. He thinks to himself, "This 
driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turned on 
his flashing lights and pulls the driver over. 

Approaching the car, he notices that there are 5 old 
ladies, 2 in the front seat and 3 in the back, all wide-eyed 
and white as ghosts. The driver, obviously confused, says 
to him, "Officer, I don't understand; I was doing exactly 
the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?" 

"Ma'am," the officer replies, "you weren't speeding, 
but you should know that driving slower than the speed 
limit can also be a danger to other drivers." 

"Slower than the speed limit? No, sir, I was doing the 
speed limit exactly; twenty-two miles an hour!" the old 
woman says proudly. 

The State Police Officer, trying to contain chuckle, 
explains to her that "22" was the route number, not the 
speed limit. 

A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked 
the officer for pointing out her error. 

"But before you go, Ma'am, I have to ask... is everyone 
in this car okay? These women seem awfully shaken up 
and they haven't muttered a single peep during our whole 
conversation," the officer noted. 

"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute or two, officer. We just 
got off Route 119." 

The Sweater Rack 

I'm needing a sweater 
Oh, which will it be? 
There's quite an array 
Of choices, I see 

This one with a zipper 
Would make me look slim 
Here's one with some puffs 
And a scallopy trim 

Another has sleeves that 
Drop down at the shoulder 
And somehow the weaving 
Is just a bit bolder 

Such beautiful hews 
To match any attire 
With a hood or a collar 
That folks would admire! 

This one is shorter 
Pulled in at the waist 
There must be a sweater here 
For everyone's taste 

But, really, which sweater 
Would most please the Lord? 
Can I find one that's free? 
From the styles of the world? 

Oh, where is a sweater 

That isn't too tight, 

Or cut extra short, 

Or decked out "just right?" 

I want folks who see me 
To think of the Lord 
And not to be drawn 
To my lovely clothes horde 

And at the end of the row 
Just what do I see? 
A sweater the Lord 
Has reserved just for me! 

/ 7g wn nnnnnxnMzm 


Questions and Answers 

Question: How does a person with a felony find employment 
after they have served their prison sentence? 

Answer: This is a broad question and needs to be more 

Where you're at: 

If you're still under a supervised release program, then following 
the direction and assistance given by a parole officer is most 
prudent. At this stage, your primary goal is to complete your 
probation or parole, after which you may begin your new life. 
If you absolutely need cash and can't market your previous 
skills, then strongly consider a temp agency that will hire you 
out and pay you on a daily basis as a manual laborer. 

If you're already past the supervised release stage, then it's 
time to rebuild. 

Where you're not: 

Although it's disheartening, you can make a list of jobs you 
can't have pretty much without exception; you can exclude 
anything and everything that involves firearms and explosives. 
Bonded positions, highly regulated and licensed positions, 
and most government jobs are off the prospective list as well. 
Positions working around minors are probably out, too. 

Where you can go: 

You will most likely find your new career "home" in a small to 
very small company where you will work closely with the owner. 
Most small companies struggle to survive and rely heavily on 
each employee they have. You will probably be working with or 
near the owner because they are down working in the trenches 
to keep their company afloat on a daily basis. 

Where you can't go: 

Most medium to large companies don't want to be involved 
with any real or perceived liability in hiring you. Realistically, 
you and your resume/job application probably won't get past 
the "gate keepers" in the Human Resources Department. If this 
is the route you really want to pursue, then plan on adding a 
lot of positive factors to your resume between the time of your 
conviction and the time you apply. 

What you can do: 

Unskilled and semiskilled labor positions are high on a 
convict's new job list, as most employers need to keep these 
"revolving door" types of jobs filled. Residential construction 
labor is a good "starter" job. You can stay in it or from it build 
your skill level, increase your wages, and maybe find a long- 
term "home" with a contractor. 

Assume you will have to discuss your conviction and that a 
background investigation will be done. Employers want to 
know that you have "moved on" from your experience. A simple 
statement is all that's needed. "I was convicted of -XXX- and 
have fulfilled my obligations to the Court/Society/etc. 

I know that crime is wrong and I also know that I have to 
try harder and be better than the average person. I am ready to 
do this." (Don't go into a tirade about how life has done you 
wrong, or that you're the victim, etc. The above statement is 
clear, concise, and should be accurate.) 

What else you can do: 

You will now need to prove that you are in fact trying harder. 

Academic advancement is a must: 

If you need a GED, get one. Enroll in Community College 
classes (education) and courses (skills). If you have a skill or 
specific education, consider teaching Adult Education classes. 

Use counselors to help develop a new career path. 

Volunteer for Community Service: 

It looks good on a resume, it puts you in a "networking" 
position, it exposes you to potential employers, it keeps you 
away from an unsavory crowd, and it should make you feel 
better about yourself. Two full days (or the equivalent) per 
month is the norm. Use peer support to explore new career 

Consider church: 

It has the same exposure as volunteering and you can be a 
source of support for some. Use church leaders for career 
guidance and support. 

Try to expunge your conviction or apply for a Certificate of 
Rehabilitation (or the equivalent). All felony convictions can 
be made to "go away;" some are just harder than others (such 
as Federal convictions requiring a pardon or clemency, or 
Registrant Crimes, which may require continued registration). 

Prevent future convictions: 

This is a "no-brainer" but still needs to be said. You have been 
given (a sort of) second chance. You have fairly permanent 
"legal" handicap. Try to earn what you need to live comfortably, 
but look for success outside monetary achievement. This is all 
I can offer. Good luck and keep on keeping on. 

Many communities have people who work as an 
Employment Specialist who have connections to employers 
and job positions that allow felonies/work release. A good 
place to register and check in with is your local Workforce 
office or a city office that helps with employment. When you 
call, ask specifically about anyone who works directly with 
felons, people with backgrounds. 

Goodwill is also normally a good contact or is able to give 
you the name of someone who can help. Other places one 
can find employment are temp or temp-to-hire agencies that 
primarily hire for production and warehouse work. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

£ 7^w^mMMMmff / " 'f//fff / 


Give Me a Vision 

Give me a vision, Lord, I plead 
Vision of souls and a world in need 
Loved ones and friends the one next door 
Then let me see there are millions more 

Give me vision, Lord, divine 

Kindle with fire this cold heart of mine 

May with unselfishness it burn 

Lord fill me with love and deep concern 

Give me a vision, Lord divine, 
So charged with power that it shall shine 
Out to the lost in deepest night 
Wandering alone in their sad, sad plight 

Give me a vision, Lord divine 
Without a limit or a boundary line 
Help me to see a world in sin 
Not just the prison field I am working in 

Give me a vision, Heart-stirring vision 
Open my eyes, Lord, today 
Show me the sighing, Doomed and the dying 
Give me a vision Lord, I pray. 

(qive me a vision, Lord divine 
Without a limit or a boundary line 
Help me to see a world in sin 
Mot Just the prison field 
I am working in 

The Plan 

Abandoned Savior, bruised and beaten 
Stumbling on the cobblestone 
Weighted with the cross of Calvary 
In a crowd, yet all alone 

Abused Savior, dressed in satire 
Thorns like talons pierce your bloody brow 
Closest comrades those you've trusted 
Now your friendship disavow 

Loving Savior, full of mercy 
Suffering for the human race 
Patient, kind, forgiving Master 
I embrace your gift of grace 

Lifeless Savior, pain has ended 
Head lays pendant upon your chest 
Hands that once healed, lay mutilated 
You, for me, endured this test 

Living Savior, you have risen 
Death is swallowed in defeat 
Battle fought, triumphant Victory 
Sin is conquered, your plan complete! 

This Thing I Choose 

Some folks enjoy talking about trouble 
And insults, and burdens, and pain 
They talk about losses and crosses 
But seldom of sunshine and gain. 

Their troubles they list without number 
But blessings, if ever, are told 
No wonder they bog down in spirit 
And grow sad before they grow old. 

Sure I could join them in sadness 

For sorrow has oft come to me 

I could tell all my blights and my blunders 

And heartaches that folks cannot see. 

But would this make our world any brighter? 
Wouldn't I lend to its sorrow and care? 
Whey then scatters gloom in this dark world 
When God has sunbeams to spare? 

No I won't join the ranks of complainers 
For God's been too good to me 
I refuse to find fault with His leadings 
I refuse to weep on bitterly. 

I want to be grateful and humble 
And ever His sweet praises sing 
I want to enjoy every moment 
The victory that Christ came to bring! 

is Way 

The greatest man who ever lived 
Left footprints to be followed 
But most men live their lives in vain 
Their own path to them more hallowed 

Yet sometimes there's a great one that rises 
That says, I'll follow you 

And though the paths lead through worlds apart 
Your will, my soul says do 

Strange lands my eyes must see and behold 
The struggles, the tears, the joy untold 
But never a question, a backward step 
Just simply, "Lord, I'll go" 

Lord, how do you change the tide of millions? 
Their souls keep marching on? 
You reach out to one and then another 
Until strength is gone 

And when you've poured out all you have 
I'll take one or two 
Multiply and divide it 
Like you could never do 

And for your love and labor, friend 
This is what I'll do 
I'll make your reward eternal 
My gift of love to you. 


ne important change 
is me! Only because I want 
something better for myself, a 
better life. I'm so tired of the 
way my life is, and it's up to 
me to change. It took a lot for 
me to turn myself in. I don't 
like it in here, but who does, 
right? Turning myself in was 
the stupid and smartest thing 
I ever done. 

read the rest of Vicoria's POW on page 5